Animals

Eurasian Nuthatch: 21 Facts You Won’t Believe!

Eurasian nuthatch facts about its range of world presence is informative
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The Eurasian nuthatch (Sitta Europaea), is a passerine species found in the temperate range of the northern hemisphere. Found in habitats covered in mature trees.

As nuthatches are present in Europe and Asia, more than 20 subspecies for the same have been founded. The distinction has been made based on geographical locations and physical differences. Largely clubbed into three groups viz. Caesia, Europaea, and Senesis groups. The Caesia covers Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East and has a buff breast and white throat. Scandinavian, Russian, and East Asian regions are populated by the Europaea group, distinguished by their white breast. And finally south and east China, Taiwan host the Sinensis group.

Read on to know more about the places in the world where they are found, their species-specific traits, and a range of compelling facts.

If you liked reading about this bird, do consider giving these pygmy nuthatch facts and red-breasted nuthatch facts a try!

Eurasian nuthatch

Fact File

What do they prey on?

Insects, seeds, and nuts

What do they eat?

Omnivores

Average litter size?

4-8 eggs

How much do they weigh?

0.6–1 oz (17–28 g)

How long are they?

4.7-6.7 in (12–17 cm)


How tall are they?

N/A

What do they look like?

Gray head cap, pale underparts, small tail, and bill,

Skin Type

Fur

What are their main threats?

Habitat fragmentation and forest destruction

What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them

Europe, North Africa, Middle East, Japan, China, Russia

Locations

Boreal and temperate forests

Kingdom

Animalia

Class

Aves

Scientific Name

Sitta Europaea

Family

Sittidae

Genus

Sitta

Eurasian Nuthatch Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Eurasian nuthatch?

The Eurasian nuthatch (Sitta Europaea) is a passerine bird species found in European and Asian countries.

What class of animal does a Eurasian nuthatch belong to?

Eurasian nuthatches belong to the Aves class of the kingdom Animalia.

How many Eurasian nuthatches are there in the world?

At present, the global estimate for mature adults is around 10,000,000-500,000,000. No decline in the population has been noted and the trend seems to be stable.

Where does a Eurasian nuthatch live?

As the name suggests, this species is found across the European and Asian stretch. Its extant population is spread over a region of  (51,400,000 km sq). This includes countries like Japan, China, Korea in the east and covers parts of Middle Eastern countries like  Iraq, Iran, Syria, and Turkey. In Europe, they are present through Andorra, Austra, Belgium, France, and United Kingdom, to name a few. Nuthatches are very common in the UK. Its population has doubled in the decades between the 1960s and 1990s. Climate change is said to be one of the catalysts. It has next to no presence in the United States.

What is a Eurasian nuthatch's habitat?

Nuthatcher's range covers more than five counties, thus certain geographical variations are to be expected. Eurasian nuthatches are primarily found in temperate and boreal woods with large trees. Its territory is shadowed by tree canopies. This ensures a large site for foraging and multiple nesting cavities. Oak forests, riverine woodland, old orchard, even gardens are most commonly inhabited in the European regions. At a higher sea level, it occupies pine or old spruce trees.

In Russian counterparts, coniferous woodland, oak, and the Larix forests house this nuthatch species. Being non-migratory, they have a relatively sedentary life. These birds do not prefer zones without mature trees or other open ground. As a result, its population declines in areas enduring forest fragmentation.

Who does Eurasian nuthatch live with?

The social organization for the nuthatches is monogamous in nature. These pairs are quite solitary. An area of 10 acres is occupied by only 3-5 pairs. While they are not suitable for a life as a pet, they do visit gardens specifically for bird feeders often.

How long does a Eurasian nuthatch live?

On average, the lifespan of a Eurasian nuthatch is 4-5 years.

How do they reproduce?

Nuthatches' breeding season is in the months of later April through May. This is also contingent on the altitude where the birds are nesting. The female species is in charge of building the nest. The nest is made up of various substances like pine bark flakes, wood chips, grass, or feathers. They either use abandoned holes on trees or create their own. In the case of a reused tree opening, the female bird tends to close up the over-exposed entrance hole by plastering it up with mud. An adaptive habit, which protects the eggs and the young. The female lays five to nine eggs and incubates them for 13-18 days. During this period the adult male has the responsibility of feeding his partner. The survival rate for the eggs is around 60%. The young fledge in 18-25 days.

What is their conservation status?

As this species has a stable population trend, the conservation status of the Eurasian nuthatch is declared to be Least Concern in the IUCN Red List.

Eurasian Nuthatch Fun Facts

What does the Eurasian nuthatch look like?

Like most Passeriformes, the Eurasian nuthatch has a small, compact body. Its face is adorned with a black eye stripe, passing across its beady eyes till the nape sides. On its forehead, it has a small segment of gray-colored feathers. Whereas its body or rather the upper parts is covered with grey feathers contrasted with pale orange underparts. Its wings and flight feathers usually share the same plumage as its upper body.

It has a small but strong bill and a tiny tail. Its feet have a fawn or copper shade and are instrumental in hanging upside down. Some differences in the shades of the underparts can be noticed across the subspecies. Little distinction exists between the sexes; females have lighter shades of color especially in the underparts. The young resemble females more so than males.

Eurasian nuthatches frequent bird feeders

How cute are they?

These birds are extremely adorable. This can be attributable to their small size and antics.

How do they communicate?

The species is very vocal and relies on contact calls to account for its companions. It gives a range of calls that have different functions. A shrill sirrr is used as alarm calls. Other calls include twit to express excitement, and a mix of calls to make a whole bird song.

How big is a Eurasian nuthatch?

The Eurasian nuthatch is a tiny bird that has a length of 4.7-6.7 in (12–17 cm) from the beak to the tail. For a size estimate, consider the fact that these birds are almost 2-3 times smaller than a pink pigeon.

How fast can a Eurasian nuthatch bird?

These birds have a high wing beat rate. Its wings measure 8.9–10.6 in (22.5-27 cm). While an exact estimate of its speed is not available, one may consider that these birds are highly agile and adept at flying. Instances for this can be recorded by noting the way they enter their plastered nest and not miss it. Observations of flying catches have also been made, which is an incredible feat of a bird of this size. Moreover, due to the small tail size, it cannot use it for balance.

How much does a Eurasian nuthatch weigh?

This bird species weighs 0.6–1 oz (17–28 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

Both the male and female of the species, share the same name.

What would you call a baby Eurasian nuthatch?

A baby Eurasian nuthatch can be called a chick.

What do they eat?

The Eurasian nuthatch has an omnivorous diet. It feeds on both small insects such as caterpillars and snails using its sharp bill and plant-based diets such as seeds and nuts. At times, it stores seeds, nuts, and other forage findings in the crevice of the nest or tree barks. Some stores have been found on the ground which was covered using leaves and rocks. Feeder for food can be erected in places like gardens or house yards. These can be filled with seeds or suet which help meet the nutritious needs of the birds during winter time.

Are they dangerous?

No, Eurasian nuthatches are not dangerous and are placed low in the food chain hierarchy.

Would they make a good pet?

No, while this bird is attractive, it has not been domesticated ever. However, they frequent bird feeders, which you may install in your yards or porch. They are friendly if you do not appear to be a threat.

Did you know...

This species derives its name from the word nut cracker because of their eating habits. These birds are known to eat nuts by cracking them open with their bills.

Research conducted to study their aggressive behavior found that Sitta europaea is a territorial bird. However, its behavior is largely influenced by stimulus characteristics. Similar field research aimed at understanding its response to predators found its behavior to be tacit and seen as an attempt to not draw attention to themselves.

Why do nuthatches eat upside down?

Several theories have been postulated to reason this behavior. One such reasoning explains it through resource competition and visual perception. As nuthatches spend their winters with other birds, the competition for food increases. Hanging upside down allows the quick identification of both food and predators.

Is a nuthatch a woodpecker?

Woodpeckers and nuthatches do share a lot of features, which at times can be confusing. The wood nut species is closely related to tits or chickadees instead. Nuthatches can walk up and down the tree trunks, an ability that the woodpecker lack. Nuthatches by comparison also have a smaller tail.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these grackle facts and green jay facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Eurasian nuthatch coloring pages.

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