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Hello, my first post (1 Viewer)


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I thought I would record my observations of a pair of nuthatches. I’m sure it is not new or unique, but apart from a reference to nuthatches being aggressively terrretorial, I could find no specific examples described (I know I should have looked at some bird forums). Anyway, I have a pair of bluetitboxes ca 20 feet apart on the back of my bungalow. A few months ago, a pair of bluetits began nesting in one of the boxes, followed about 10days later by a pair of nuthatches in the other box. I became aware of the nuthatches by the sound of their hammering on the aperture to the box, which at 25mm I had set for bluetit size. Being quite exited at the prospect of having nuthatches in my box, I checked optimum apertures for nuthatches and drilled the hole out to 32mm. Both sets of birds seemed to be happily co-existing until about a month ago, when I witnessed a ball of birds tumbling out of the bluetit box. The “ball” consisted of two bluetits and one nuthatch, and all dissociated and flew off just before hitting the ground.
I began to notice an absence of bluetit movements from that time onwards, concomitant with frequent observations of the nuthatch appearing to examine closely the bluetit bird box. After a couple of weeks of no bluetit movements I lifted the lid of the bluetit box and discovered a single, dead bluetit, with head lacerations, and a single, unhatched egg.
I am convinced the nuthatch was the villain, and thought it might be of some interest to record the events as an example of nuthatch territorial aggression.
The nuthatches fledged yesterday, and when they have all left I intend to remove the mud with which they have plastered the lid shut and reduce the hole size back to 25mm to discourage a second brood of nuthatches. This may smack of avian eugenics, but I don’t want another pair of bluetits to become victims to the neighbours from hell, and nationally and locally, nuthatches are doing rather well.

delia todd

If I said the wrong thing it was a Senior Moment
Staff member
Opus Editor
Hi Emby and a warm welcome to you from all the Staff and Moderators.

What an interesting tale you have to tell. It's so hard sometimes watching nature at work, isn't it.

I'm sure you will enjoy it here and I look forward to hearing your news.

KC Foggin

Super Moderator
Staff member
Opus Editor
United States
Quite an interesting post Emby!

A warm welcome to you and please join in wherever you like ;)


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