Sunday, April 15, 2007

Brown Creeper

Brown creepers are one of the most delightful little birds to be seen in our woods in early spring. They nest in the north woods, mainly in conifer forests, so we are host to them mostly during spring and fall migration. They are wren-sized, with a down-curved, needle-like beak, used to pry insects out of crevices in tree trunks. They have a white breast, but the back is streaked and spotted, to blend in with the tree bark; if threatened they may even spread their wings, and flatten against the trunk to further conceal themselves, where they remain still until the threat has passed.
They are otherwise in constant motion, scooting up trees in a spiral fashion, then flying to the base of the next tree, and climbing it, looking for insects (if you look closely, the brown creeper in the picture has just found a small bug). A year or so ago I was musing that these precious little birds seem to be getting scarcer (which in most places, they are), since I remember them as being fairly common when I was a boy. Then I decided that part of the problem may lie in the observer (me). With age, comes some fading of visual acuity and perhaps more important than this fading of sight, a diminishment in seeing; that is, as you get older you become less observant and curious. I would hate to think there might ever be a time when a spring came when I couldn't smile at the antics of this little acrobat.... I must look closer.
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He is so cute! We feed the birds, but some of the best ones don't come to feeders, we have learned.
Sissy... you're right. The warblers won't come near a feeder.
What a great shot. I'm never able to get pictures of birds. We're lucky - our living room is actually on the second floor, so we have a perfect view of the tree trunks in the yard. I love watching the brown creepers compete with the nuthatches for tree space. The creepers creep up the trunk, and the nuthatches go down.
It is a great shot! I saw a brown creeper this weekend also, he was busy running up and down the tree trunk of our locust tree!
tracy... you're right about the creeping pattern; I never thought about that before.
IGG... i saw a gold crowned kinglet creeping up a tree today, but they don't stay in one spot to get a picture.
Great shot! I used to see more brown creepers in Indiana than I do here in Wisconsin...I think it's due to competition from the nuthatches, both red-breasted and white. Plus I have a lot of bossy woodpeckers that likely chase them.
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