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Eurasian Nuthatch - BirdForum Opus

Subspecies caesia
Photo © by Nigel Blake
England, UK, 24 October 2004

Alternative name: Wood Nuthatch

Sitta europaea

Includes: Siberian Nuthatch

Identification

12–17 cm (4¾-6¾ in)

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

Distribution

Juvenile - Subspecies europa
Photo © by Macswede
Hemmesta Sjoangen Nature Reserve, 3rd July 2021

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

Taxonomy

Subspecies

Subspecies caesia juvenile
Photo © by Rod Holbrook
Gorsley, Herefordshire, England, 18 July 2012

There are 23 subspecies[1]:

  • S. e. caesia: underparts rusty-red, vent dark reddish-brown
  • Britain to Denmark, Carpathian Mountains, Pyrénées 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
  • 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 (south of the Alps), mainland Italy, Sicily, and western coastal Balkans, south to southwestern Montenegro
  • 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. takatsukasai: southern Kuril Islands (Iturup and Urup)
  • S. e. clara: southern Kuril Islands (Kunashir and Shikotan) and northern Japan (Hokkaido)
  • S. e. baicalensis: southeastern Siberia, from region south and east of Lake Baikal, east to the Sea of Okhotsk and northeastern China
  • S. e. albifrons: northeastern Russia (southern Koryak Highlands and the Kamchatka Peninsula) and northern Kuril Islands (Paramushir)
  • S. e. amurensis: South-eastern Russia to north-eastern China, Korea and Honshu (northern Japan)
  • S. e. roselia: Southern Japan (south-eastern Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu)
Subspecies amurensis
Photo © by Akimoto
Togakushi, Nagano, Japan, 3 May 2014
  • S. e. bedfordi: Cheju-Do Islands (Korea)
  • S. e. hondoensis: central and southern Japan (Honshu, Shikoku, and northern Kyushu)
  • S. e. sinensis: Central and eastern China
  • S. e. formosana: Taiwan

Note: subspecies nebulosa, with range “S China (lowlands of s Yunnan)” is no longer recognzied. It is a junior synonym of nagaensis, a subspecies of Chestnut-vented Nuthatch

Habitat

Breeds in mixed and deciduous woods and parkland.

Behaviour

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

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.

Diet

Subspecies europaea
Photo © by Digiscoper321
West Sweden, 13 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.

Vocalisation

Call: tui-tui-tui.

Listen in an external program


References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Wikipedia contributors. (2019, May 13). Eurasian nuthatch. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 08:00, May 29, 2019, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Eurasian_nuthatch&oldid=896925491
  3. Grant, P.J., K. Mullarney, L. Svensson, D. Zetterstrom (1999) Collins Bird Guide: The Most Complete Field Guide to the Birds of Britain and Europe. Harpercollins Pub Ltd ISBN 0 00 219728 6
  4. Brazil, M. (1991) The Birds of Japan, Smithsonian Inst. Press.
  5. Brazil, M. (2018). Birds of Japan. Helm, London. ISBN 978-1-4729-1386-9
  6. Harrap, S., Christie, D.A. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Eurasian Nuthatch (Sitta europaea). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from https://www.hbw.com/node/59914 on 13 May 2019).
  7. Harrap, S. & Quinn. D. (1995) Chickadees, Tits, Nuthatches & Treecreepers. Princeton Univ. Press.
  8. Red’kin, Y. and Konovalova, M. 2006. Systemic Notes on Asian Birds. 63. The eastern Asiatic races of Sitta europaea. Zool. Med. Leiden 80

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