Brown Creeper

Bird of the Month: Brown Creeper

By Hugh Jennings

PC: Mick Thompson (Brown Creeper)

PC: Mick Thompson (Brown Creeper)

Scientific Name: Certhia americana

Length 5-5.5 in

AOU Band code BRCR

The Brown Creeper (BRCR) is about 5 - 5-1/2" long and is camouflaged with brown streaked plumage above and dull white below. It has a relatively long downcurved bill and long, pointed tail feathers. Creepers spiral upward from the base to the branches of a tree, then will fly to a lower place on another tree, probing bark for insects and larvae.

It sometimes visits bird feeders for chopped nuts and suet. Fairly common, but hard to see. When alarmed it will flatten itself and remain motionless against tree trunks. It can appear on the trunk of any tree, especially mature trees. It is usually alone, but occasionally in pairs. Sometimes it will be seen in winter flocks of titmice and nuthatches.

It is usually located first by its distinctive high-pitched song likened to see see titi see. It nests in coniferous, mixed or swampy forests, but in the winter can be found in any woodland. It makes a hammock-like crescent-shaped nest of bark, twigs, mosses, lined with feathers and places it behind a loose piece of bark of a dead tree, or in a natural cavity 5-15 ft. above the ground. Five to six eggs, white with dark spots are laid. Incubation takes 14-16 days and the young fledge 13-15 days later.