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Eurasian Nuthatch

From Opus

Photo by Nigel BlakeEngland, October 2004
Photo by Nigel Blake
England, October 2004

Alternative name: Wood Nuthatch

Sitta europaea

Includes: Siberian Nuthatch


[edit] Identification


  • Blue grey upperparts
  • Black eyestripe
  • White below
  • Chestnut vent
  • Short tail

[edit] Distribution

Europe and Asia.
Fairly common to locally common in its range.

[edit] Taxonomy

[edit] Subspecies

juvenilePhoto by The RaptorGorsley, Herefordshire, England, July 2012
Photo by The Raptor
Gorsley, Herefordshire, England, July 2012

There are 19 subspecies[1]:

  • S. e. caesia: underparts rusty-red, vent dark reddish-brown
  • Britain to Denmark, Carpathian Mountains, PyrĂ©nĂ©es and Balkan Peninsula
  • S. e. europaea: Scandinavia and Russia to Volga and Vyatka basins and Ukraine
  • S. e. asiatica: White supercillium and sometimes a white forehead
  • Eastern European Russia to Sea of Okhotsk, southern Kuril Island and northern Japan
  • S. e. arctica: North-central Siberia to Anadyr River (eastern Russia) - sometimes split as Siberian Nuthatch
  • S. e. hispaniensis: Iberian Peninsula
  • S. e. atlas: Morocco
  • S. e. cisalpina: Southern Switzerland, Italy, Sicily and coastal Yugoslavia
  • S. e. levantina: Western Asia Minor, Levant and southern Turkey (east to Euphrates River)
  • S. e. caucasica: Northern and north-eastern Turkey, Caucasus region and Transcaucasia
  • S. e. rubiginosa: South-eastern Transcaucasia (Talyshskiye and Gory mountains) to northern Iran
  • S. e. persica: Zagros Mountains (south-western Iran)
  • S. e. seorsa: North-western China (eastern Tien Shan Mountains of northern Xinjiang)
  • S. e. sakhalinensis: Sakhalin (Russia)
  • S. e. albifrons: Kamchatka Peninsula, Paramushir Island and northern Kuril Islands
  • S. e. amurensis: South-eastern Russia to north-eastern China, Korea and Honshu (northern Japan)
  • S. e. roseillia: Southern Japan (south-eastern Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu)
Subspecies amurensis Photo by AkimotoTogakushi, Nagano, Japan, May 2014
Subspecies amurensis
Photo by Akimoto
Togakushi, Nagano, Japan, May 2014
  • S. e. bedfordi: Cheju-Do Islands (Korea)
  • S. e. sinensis: Central and eastern China and Taiwan
  • S. e. nebulosa: Southern China (lowlands of southern Yunnan)

[edit] Habitat

Breeds in mixed and deciduous woods and parkland.

[edit] Behaviour

They travel head-first down trees and are often seen on the underside of branches. They also hang upside down in trees.

[edit] Breeding

It nests in holes, lined with grass and bark, in old trees. The clutch consists of 5-8 white, red speckled eggs.
A monogamous and territorial species. The size of the nest entrance is often reduced by plasterng with mud. Sometimes the interior is also plastered to protect against wind and rain.

[edit] Diet

Subspecies europaeaPhoto by Digiscoper321West Sweden, February 2012
Subspecies europaea
Photo by Digiscoper321
West Sweden, February 2012

The diet includes insects, seeds and nuts. Visits garden feeders in winter. Will store food in the autumn for retrieval in the winter months.

[edit] Vocalisation

Call: tui-tui-tui.

Listen in an external program

[edit] References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, B.L. Sullivan, C. L. Wood, and D. Roberson. 2013. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: Version 6.8., with updates to August 2013. Downloaded from
  2. Wikipedia
  3. Collins Bird Guide ISBN 0 00 219728 6

[edit] External Links

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