Hey guys, welcome back! Brown Creeper. No it’s not a super villain, or what a racist might call a minority stalker, it’s a tiny little bird that looks like walking tree bark! Brown Creepers are very small birds that are a mottled brown above, and white below. They have a fairly long, slightly downcurved bill and long tail. They are also the only member of the treecreeper family in North America (hence it’s sometimes referred to as the American Treecreeper.) Brown Creepers creep up trees. Good rule of thumb, if you see a small bird walking up the side of a tree, it’s probably a Brown Creeper, if it’s walking down the tree, it’s a nuthatch.
The Brown Creeper is largely a winter bird in the U.S. Though they are found in parts of the country year-round, they typically spend their winters in the U.S. and their summers in Canada. The Brown Creeper is always cool to see. Mostly because they blend in so well that it can sometimes look like a part of the bark of a tree has suddenly started moving! Birding in the winter can be a challenge. The cold, for one, presents a challenge for fingers to work properly, and even camera equipment sometimes doesn’t like the cold. It takes a hardy birder to bird all season long. There’s more birds around than you might think in the winter, and the Brown Creeper is one that’s not seen as often. A few weeks ago, as I’m writing this, I was walking through Forest Park here in St. Louis, and I saw two tiny birds fly to a tree. I was in an open area, away from any woodlands. I looked closer, and saw that the two little birds in question were Brown Creepers! They were the first ones I spotted in Missouri, and it was a nice little surprise. Goes to show that birds are full of surprises. Brown Creepers are almost always seen in forests, not large open fields next to a lake. Yet, there they were!
These little guys are quite hardy. Last year, we had a pretty bad snowstorm in New York. I was working at the north end of Central Park that day, and I was outside of the Dana Discovery Center waiting for someone with a key to get in. So I’m standing out there in a near blizzard, and I see a little bird fly to a nearby tree. “What the heck is out here in a blizzard?” I thought. I walked over and it was a Brown Creeper! Come to think of it, that one was also not near a forest! well, with that, I think I’ll wrap things up for today. But we’re going to keep with the “winter bird” theme for next time as well, when we look at a small grey member of the sparrow family; the Dark-eyed Junco! See you all then!