Nuthatch bird feeder

How to Attract Nuthatches to your Backyard? Expert Tips!

Ever wondered how to attract nuthatches to your backyard? Well, if you’ve ever caught yourself gazing out the window, secretly envying your neighbor’s lively avian guests while your own yard seems stuck in a ‘bird-free’ zone, you’re in for a treat.

These little acrobats bring charm and charisma to any outdoor space. Get ready to unravel the secrets that turn your yard into their favorite hangout spot! Ready? Let’s dive into the delightful world of nuthatch allure.

Key Takeaways

  • Provide a variety of food sources, including Sunflower Kernels, crushed crickets, and fruit from trees and bushes.
  • Plant trees and bushes that produce fruit or flowers that nuthatches love, such as lilacs, hibiscus flowers, and apple trees.
  • Provide nesting boxes for nuthatches, as they are cavity nesters.
  • Maintain a balance between a clean yard and a natural environment with plenty of vegetation and cover from the sun.
  • Be patient and keep your yard well-maintained.
  • With the right food sources, plants, and nesting boxes, you can attract these delightful birds to your backyard and enjoy their company for years to come.
A white-breasted nuthatch perched on a tree, looking for insects.
Photo by Jack Bulmer on Unsplash

How to Attract Nuthatches to your Backyard?

To attract nuthatches to your backyard, there are several things you can do. First, consider providing a variety of food sources, such as Sunflower Kernels, crushed crickets, and fruit from trees and bushes.

Additionally, planting trees and bushes that produce fruit or flowers that nuthatches love, such as lilacs, hibiscus flowers, and apple trees, can be very attractive to them. It’s also important to provide nesting boxes, as nuthatches are cavity nesters.

To create an inviting habitat, maintain a balance between a clean yard and a natural environment with plenty of vegetation and cover from the sun.

Finally, be patient and keep your yard well-maintained. With the right food sources, plants, and nesting boxes, you can attract these delightful birds to your backyard and enjoy their company for years to come.

Best Months to Spot the Nuthatch

Nuthatches are a popular bird to spot in your yard, thanks to their distinctive appearance and playful behavior. These birds are known for their acrobatic skills, often seen running up and down tree trunks and branches.

While they can be spotted during the summer months, the best time to attract them to your yard is in the spring (March to May) or late fall (October to December), which is around their wintering period. During this time, they are more likely to visit bird feeders and suet cages.

Nuthatches are most active during morning and evening hours, so it’s a good idea to feed them during these times. With a little patience and the right food, you can enjoy the company of these charming birds in your own backyard.

Foods that Attract Nuthatches

Nuthatches are very picky eaters. Although they eat almost anything, nuthatches will only eat berries, suet, grasshoppers, spiders, grubs, worms, and eggs.

The best foods for them are seeds and suet. I find I get great results attracting nuthatches when using Sunflower Kernels.

If you’re searching for a good quality feeder for attracting nuthatches, I would recommend the Gray Bunny Deluxe Hopper Feeder or the Squirrel Buster Standard Squirrel-proof Bird Feeder. You can get both these products on Amazon.

A Eurasian Nuthatch walking down a tree.
Image by 995645 from Pixabay

Attracting Nuthatches with Crushed Crickets

If you’re looking to attract nuthatches to your backyard, consider using crushed crickets as a food source. Nuthatches are known to gather around feeders, and crushed crickets can be a great way to entice them.

Not only do crickets attract nuthatches, but they can also bring in a variety of other bird species to your yard. However, it’s important to make sure that the crickets you use are certified for wild birds. Be sure to check the labels before purchasing.

To use crickets as bird food, simply place them in a small dish near your feeder. The nuthatches will quickly learn to associate the dish with food and may start visiting your yard more frequently.

So, be patient and keep your feeder stocked with food. With a little effort, you can enjoy the company of these delightful birds in your own backyard.

Trees and Plants that Attract Nuthatches

If you’re looking to attract nuthatches to your backyard, planting the right trees and bushes can make a big difference. Nuthatches prefer areas with plenty of vegetation and cover from the sun, so a landscaped yard full of trees and shrubs can be very attractive to them.

When choosing trees and bushes, consider those that are climbing or have rough bark, as nuthatches are known to climb up and down tree trunks in search of food. Some of the best trees and plants for attracting nuthatches include the Alder tree, American Beech, and the Eastern White Pine. These trees provide ample cover and food sources for nuthatches.

In addition to trees and bushes, you can also attract nuthatches by providing nesting boxes. Nuthatches are cavity nesters, meaning they will often use holes in trees or man-made nest boxes for nesting. By providing a nesting box, you can help encourage nuthatches to make your yard their home.

Remember, nuthatches are intelligent and curious birds, so be patient and keep your yard well-maintained. With the right trees, plants, and nesting boxes, you can attract these delightful birds to your backyard and enjoy their company for years to come.

Here are some of the best trees and plants for attracting nuthatches:

  • Alder Tree
  • American Sycamore Tree
  • Blue Spruce Tree
  • Cedar Trees (White, Red)
  • Eastern White Pine Trees
  • Eucalyptus Trees
  • Acorn Tree
  • Oak Tree
  • Hickory Tree
  • Ash Tree
  • Birch Tree
  • Beech Tree
  • Birch Tree

They also like seeds from a few plants such as the sunflower, aster and black-eyed Susan.

A Nuthatch feeding on some seeds.
Image by Christiane from Pixabay

Attracting Nuthatches with a Nest Box

Nuthatches are common birds that build their nests in natural cavities. They like to have branches and leaves around the nest, so they can camouflage themselves from predators.

If you want to attract nuthatches, place a small, box-shaped house near trees with lots of nesting material for them. For nesting material, line the inside of the box with moss, grasses, pine needles, dried leaves and twigs.

You can make your own nest box with a simple wooden box with an entrance hole at one end about 4 inches (10 cm) wide by 5 inches (13 cm) high, a storage compartment at the other end about 3 inches (8 cm) wide by 5 inches (13 cm) high, and a ledge of some kind in between to act as a perch.

If you don’t want to build your own, you can purchase this Woodlink NABB Audubon Cedar bird House that is great for attracting nesting birds. You can find it on Amazon.

A simple nest box will attract these birds to your property and provide them with shelter during their nesting season. Nuthatches like to build nests close to the ground or near tree trunks so that they can have easy access to food.

If you already have trees in your yard, try putting some pine cones in the ground. Putting these in their habitat will increase the chances of enticing them to your backyard for a closer look.

Attracting Them With Plants That Produce Nectar

Nuthatches are not just seed and insect eaters – they also enjoy consuming nectar from flowers and fruit from certain plants. If you want to attract nuthatches to your backyard, consider planting trees and bushes that produce fruit or flowers that nuthatches love.

Some of the best plants for attracting nuthatches include lilacs, hibiscus flowers, holly trees, crab apple trees, apple trees, cherry trees, and linden trees. These plants produce flowers or fruit that nuthatches can eat, making them a great food source for these delightful birds.

In addition to providing food, these plants can also provide cover and nesting sites for nuthatches. By planting a variety of trees and bushes, you can create a diverse and inviting habitat for nuthatches and other bird species.

Remember, nuthatches are intelligent and curious birds, so be patient and keep your yard well-maintained. With the right plants and food sources, you can attract these charming birds to your backyard and enjoy their company for years to come.

Nuthatches are Attracted To Landscaped Yards

It is generally believed that they are attracted to landscaped yards with plenty of vegetation and cover from the sun. This may include areas with tall grass, shrubs, and trees.

However, keeping your yard tidy and well-maintained can help prevent the spread of disease and parasites, which can be harmful to nuthatches and other bird species.

Therefore, it’s important to maintain a balance between a clean yard and a natural habitat that can attract nuthatches and other bird species.

By creating an inviting and healthy environment, you can increase your chances of attracting these delightful birds to your yard.

Attract Nuthatches with a Bird Bath

These birds will often visit bird baths for drinking water and bathing. Put out a low-level bird bath with shallow water and an ample supply of food (peanut butter or suet) for them to eat while they’re bathing.

You can also place an empty flower pot or other deep container near your bird bath filled with clean water and some wet rocks for the nuthatch to perch on while they drink. I would recommend purchasing a high-quality birdbath like this one on Amazon.

A Nuthatch eating seeds.
Image by Jürgen from Pixabay

Frequently Asked Questions

What seed do nuthatches like?

Nuthatches are the type of bird that will eat almost anything, but they especially love sunflower seeds. They also like peanut and pine nuts.

Do nuthatches feed on the ground?

Nuthatches are small birds that feed on the ground, primarily in winter. They eat insects and other invertebrates, including seeds and berries. In warmer months they can be found on trees feeding from leaves, nuts, fruit or bark.

Do nuthatches eat black sunflower seeds?

Nuthatches are a type of bird that love to eat black oil sunflower seeds. They usually eat these types of seeds in the winter, when other food sources are scarce.

Do nuthatches hide seeds?

The nuthatch has a distinctive habit of storing seeds during the summer months by burying them in bark crevices or wedging them into branches before returning to find them again when they need more food. 

Do nuthatches climb trees?

Nuthatches are known for climbing trees. They have long, curved claws that help them cling to tree bark and the small spaces between branches. The tails of nuthatches can be used as a counterbalance while they’re clinging to a branch or trunk.

Author

  • Vince S

    Meet Vince, the passionate founder and author of Learn Bird Watching, boasting 30 years of birding experience. With an unwavering mission to empower fellow bird enthusiasts, Vince shares invaluable wisdom and guidance. As a dedicated moderator and contributor to Quora's Bird Watchers' Club, he actively engages with the birding community, where his insightful answers have garnered over 440,000 views and over 2,670 upvotes. Whether you're a budding birder or a seasoned avian aficionado, his wealth of knowledge is at your service.