Nick Baker's Nesting Favourites – No. 7
"I stuck one of Schwegler's nuthatch-specific nest boxes up at the end of my garden, and then moved it to the local wood when the tree fell down. Every year since these quirky cavity nesting woodland birds have used it. But even the perfection of the brilliantly utilitarian design wasn’t good enough for the birds. Just like they modify natural nest sites, they set about customising it - plastering and packing mud around all the cracks, where the front panel fits in the front as well as around the entrance hole.
They are single-brooded and usually start being very vocal around March when their short nesting season starts; they're usually done by the end of June. Unlike many garden birds that live a life of flux, nuthatch are very loyal to a territory and defend it all year around, often reusing the same nest hole over successive years. Listen out for their distinctive, repetitive 'tchew, tchew' call, and look out for nesting birds carrying mud as well as wood and bark chipping to line the nest cavity.
While you’ll never be able to see them in situ the eggs are greyish-white with brick red speckles, concentrated at the blunt end (about 19mm x 14mm)."