An ‘Upside Down Bird’ the right way up

Nuthatches are sometimes called Upside-Down Birds because of their ability to walk down trees upside down. It’s all in the power of their big toe, allowing them to cling on while bearing their weight. For once, here’s one the right way up:

Nuthatch at Stover - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Here at Stover Park in South Devon there is a constant over-abundance of food, from visitors bringing seeds and nuts. It’s a situation Nuthatches rarely face in nature, but they have evolved a response to it; to scatter hoard. The Nuthatches which responded to excess food by hiding it in tree crevices, and remembering where they put it, have been the most successful and their offspring have inherited the scatter hoarding behaviour.

This one is spending its entire day in a frenzy of stuffing peanuts into cracks in oak bark in case of a day where the food supply dwindles. It never does.

We’ve made it an upside down world.

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