If you can't beat them...

By Jerra

Nuthatch (Sitta europaea)

We don't get many Nuthatches on the feeders, despite the fact they breed a couple of hundred yards away as the Nuthatch flies.  I love seeing them, OK I admit I love seeing any bird.   I like the Nuthatches because as a boy they were a rare bird which you couldn't see in the county.

In the 1971 Breeding Bird Atlas they were recorded only about 6 times in the area which was to become Cumbria and breeding only at 3.  By the time I was surveying for the 2007 to 2011 Atlas they were in all the Tetrads (2km x 2km square) and present and breeding in virtually every tetrad in the county.

Why have they expanded?  I don't know, the only logical reason I can think of is climate change.  In 1971 virtually all records were south of a line Dee Estuary (Wales) and the Humber.  I doubt habitat has changed enough to account for the increase.

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