Top Photo: Brown creeper from (February 2015).
Though they’re members of different families, brown creepers are often depicted in bird field guides on the same page as are the nuthatches. Let’s face it, their behavior is similar. While nuthatches, especially white-breasted nuthatches, work their way down tree limbs and trunks in search of insects and their larvae and eggs, creepers climb up and out on trunks and limbs doing pretty much the same thing. They’re gleaning food from under bark and from crevices in the tree trunk, one going down, the other going up.
Their behavior is reminiscent of woodpeckers in the way they move up and around tree trunks, even as far as having very stiff tail feathers with which to brace themselves against the trunk.
They don’t seem to sit still for long, which is why the photos I typically get of them each year are often out of focus and obscured by branches, vines or other objects.
Here’s this year’s slightly off focus or obscured creeper images (so far):
Even though I usually do not get very good photos of the birds, it’s always exciting to see the creepers as they climb up tree trunks, then suddenly drop down to the base of the next tree to make yet another exploratory ascent, working their way through the forest. It’s always a surprise.
They have a high pitched call which often alerts passersby to their presence, though the call is difficult for me to hear unless I’m right next to the bird.
Creepers arrive sometime in October and are usually gone by the end of April, though some may linger into May.