I live within looking distance of a church I sing at as part of a choral choir. Last summer, I was walking out of the church after an evening service when I noticed a nuthatch climbing up a stained glass window outside the church. I was told that nuthatches were common in the area by a member of the church walking past and indeed there are lots of tall trees which do seem like a haven for nuthatches. Since then ( knowing there are a family of nuthatches around the church) I have tried everything to try and attract the nuthatches to our garden. In our garden, we have a tall fir tree and a smaller plum tree that is dying and is very popular with woodpeckers. I feed the birds with feeders hung from the plum tree. I have tried a nut feeder with a picture of a nuthatch on the front of the box when I bought it, suet pellets, suet blocks, suet balls, rubbing suet into the dead bark of the tree and wedging Brazil nuts into holes in the tree which is popular with greater spot woodpeckers but not nuthatches. I have literally tried everything. Does anybody know any other ways I could attract the nuthatches to my garden? This summer, as a final attempt, I am building a pond in my back garden.

  • Hi Hoopoe, welcome to the community, just read this online ... ***You’ll be hard pressed to find a Nuthatch in your garden, unless your property backs on to a woodland area or contains mature, established trees such as oak, their favoured variety.***


     2013 photos & vids here

    eff37 on Flickr

  • Thank you WendyBartter,

    I live in a medium sized urban garden but I don’t live next to a woodland. I do live near to a garden with a very tall and broad tree in it that can be seen from our garden though and there are lots of trees in our area. Also, i live fairly near but not next to a small woodland on a hill just outside my town and I think the woodpeckers I see may come from there. Do nuthatches not tend to fly long distances from their territories to find food then? Do nuthatches like mature fir trees because we have a very tall one in our garden.
  • Hi Hoopoe, any number of hits when googling 'Nuthatch habitat in UK' ... here's a couple


     2013 photos & vids here

    eff37 on Flickr

  • I understand now why the nuthatches haven’t been coming. Perhaps I could plant an oak tree in my garden.
  • Likely would be best option but they don't grow all that fast!
    ***This is usually only the case for oaks growing in open areas when mature long-lived dome headed trees can become wider than they are high. In comparison, woodland oak is tall and slender. The expected growth rate of the English oak is just over 0.5m per year. Growing to 6m after 10 years and 11m after 20 years.
    (C) English Oak - Great Big Trees***


     2013 photos & vids here

    eff37 on Flickr

  • If it's any consolation, Hoopoe, we had them for many years and then they simply... disappeared, and we had an extremely Nuthatch-friendly garden. We could only think that what drove them away, so to speak, was changes in the broader neighbourhood (individual houses with lots of diverse flora being knocked down and replaced by large concrete boxes stuffed with people).

    We've now moved. And have a pair of Nuthatches to share our garden with.

    Have you thought about moving and following the Nuthatches around? There's a nice little place just down the road from us...

    All the best -
  • I've got a little Oak sapling growing out of the lawn ......  no doubt as the result of caching acorns by Jays. It's only about 250 mm high so I don't think it will be attracting Nuthatches any time soon. LOL

    I might pot it up to see if I can grow it on but at my age I'm never going to see it reach any size. 



    My Flickr Photostream 

  • I think our nuthatches live in the buddleia, they certainly happily peck away at the buddleia outside the window and one further down the garden too. They also use the window bird feeder, and forage on the ground. They are often seen at the same time (the pair) and happily eat next to the blue tits, great tits, and bullfinches. It's only the squirrel and the wood pigeons they avoid. I've seen no 'territorial' behaviour, they are delightful, uplifting birds, happily co-existing alongside all of the other species.

    Perhaps the reason for their increase in numbers is that they are happy to adapt and accept variable food sources, they are also highly intelligent and curious. Most definitely opportunists!
  • In reply to waxy:

    Waxy said:
    I've seen no 'territorial' behaviour, they are delightful, uplifting birds, happily co-existing alongside all of the other species.

    You have, I think Waxy, the Zen branch of the Nuthatch family.

    While "ours" are generally sweet. They are not at all averse to looking any bird up and down (with perhaps the exception of Great Spots) and saying, "Eh. Beak. (You see it, don't you?)"

    Or perhaps we just have the bolshy branch of the species...


  • I've had a nuthatch in our suburban garden this year for, I think, the first time in 30 years. There are certainly nuthatches in local woodland but it always comes from the opposite direction. Feeds on the sunflower hearts with everything else.

    Regards Ken