The Nuthatch: distributed in China too

KleiberA Eurasian Nuthatch (Sitta europaea) perches on a branch and surveys its surroundings with its beady eyes. Its small, round body is well camouflaged against the bark of the tree. With its long, pointed beak, it scans the cracks in the bark for insects, spiders and other small prey. It also eats nuts, seeds, and berries, which it carries with its feet to the branch where it cracks them open with its beak. The nuthatch is an active bird that persistently hops along branches and tree trunks in search of food.

The hard attack of the singing nuthatch can now often be heard again in early spring. Most of the time you can hear the sound – to call it a song is perhaps too much of a compliment – even when the bird is still hiding behind a tree trunk and tampering with the bark of an oak tree. What is little known is that this species of bird is widespread as far east as the Eurasian landmass. Various subspecies occur in China. The nuthatch in the picture is probably Sitta europaea amurensis, which is native to the southern and eastern Amur region and Ussuriland in the Russian Far East across Northeast China to Korea.

The subspecies amurensis is a regular migratory bird in East Asia, sometimes visiting Korea in large numbers. As early as early October, bird watchers could see around 30,000 to 40,000 individuals flying in groups of 40 to 50 birds along the coast of the Sea of Japan (in Ussuriland) towards the southwest. It is notable that there is only a single record of Beidaihe (Hebei) in NE China and the bird is a rare migrant in Shuangtaizihekou, at the mouth of the Taizi River (in southern Liaoning), although this subspecies of Nuthatch occurs in the nearby mountains. Throughout the range, montane populations may undertake rather limited altitudinal movements. In the Laomao Mountains in eastern Liaoning, where I took the photo, this Nuthatch was (still) present in mid-October.

To cope with the growing demand for top shots of the rarer species of the Palearctic Bird-Lens is keen to enrich the range of pictures of birds you can find in the western palearctic.  Trips to remote places like this one to capture images not only of rare birds of western palearctic were very successful. The nice image of the blog is only a first impression, what you will find in the gallery in the “Picture Shop” very soon. Just give a message, if could serve you with an image needed before the new pictures are online.

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