Certhia americana
(Brown Creeper)

Order: Passeriformes
Order Description: Passerines
Family: Certhiidae
Family Description: Creepers

Physical Description:
5 5-3/4" (13-15 cm). Brown camouflaged back that looks like the bark on the tree it is often climbing up with the use of its long, stiff tail. Whitish below; white eyebrow; long, downcurved bill.

Call is a single, very lispy tsee. Song is a high-pitched whistle: trees-trees-trees see the trees.

Breeds across portions of Alaska and Canada, south to southern California, mountains of middle America, western Texas, and portions of midwestern and eastern United States. Winters throughout breeding range (except for higher latitudes and elevations), south to Gulf Coast.

Found in forests, woodlands, and swamps. During winter and in migrationClick word for definition, also found in scrub and parks. Preliminary results of northern Idaho study indicated species was more abundant in continuous old growth than in fragmented or selectively harvested stands.

Eats mainly insects and other invertebrates (including immature stages). Also eats some nuts and seeds.

Usually nests under bark in tree; will sometimes nest in cavity. When pursued, spreads wings and remains motionless on tree trunk. Forages on bark of tree trunks and branches.

clutchClick word for definition size varies from 4-8 eggs, but is commonly 5-6. Incubation lasts 14-15 days. Young are tended by both parents, and leave nest at 13-16 days.

Element Code: ABPBA01010
Status: Protected nongame species
Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S5,NTMB
National Rank: N5

Important State References:
Hejl, S.J. and L.C. Paige. 1993. Birds in continuous and fragmented forests of western red cedar/western hemlock in northern Idaho: a preliminary assessment. Draft manuscript, Inter. Res. Sta., USDA Forest Service, Missoula. 18pp.

Original images provided byJason Karl,© 2000
Design by Ean Harker©1999, 2000.
Written by Jason Karl, 2000.