Top Photo: Annual out-of-focus brown creeper photo.
Each winter here at the museum I get the opportunity to photograph at least one brown creeper. I don’t see them that often, once, twice, maybe three times per winter season. They’re listed as “fairly common” here on the piedmont but they are, however, small, inconspicuous, and easily overlooked.
As the name implies, they’re largely brown in color with white and black markings and nearly all white undersides. They creep up the sides of trees looking for food, probing under bark and crevices for insects and other arthropods and their larvae or eggs with their decurved bills. When they reach a respectable height they fly down near the base of another nearby tree and repeat the process.
They may or may not be traveling with a loose winter flock of local chickadees, titmice, nuthatches, and pine warbler or two. But if you see any of those birds, give pause and scan for a creeper, you may get lucky.
So each winter, if I do come into contact with a creeper, I try my best at getting a respectable photo of the bird. Without fail I get out-of-focus shots of the bird as it quickly moves up a tree trunk. I get pieces of the bird as it disappears around the back of the trunk, or I get grossly over or under exposed shots as the bird moves in and out of the light.
Here’s this year’s best (so far), which I must admit are not too bad (could be a lot better), after a bit of post production manipulation, like exposure correction, sharpness, and color correction (maybe I’ll see another creeper).
I happened to be at the Bird Viewing Exhibit (bird feeders) when I saw the creeper. Ranger Brooke had suggested, and executed, the inclusion of a meal worm tray to bring in more birds. We already have sunflower seed, thistle, and suet feeders hanging, but Brooke had access to meal worms and crickets so she added them to the mix. The birds liked her idea.
Stop by the feeders and have a look for yourself.