Previous Page - Table of Contents - Next Page


BROWN CREEPER. Certhia familiaris americana

5.66 in.

Ad.— Head, upper back, and wings brown, finely speckled with gray; rump reddish-brown; tail grayish brown, unspeckled; tail-feathers pointed; under parts white; bills slender, slightly curved.

Nest, in a crevice under a flake of bark. Eggs, white, spotted chiefly about the larger end with reddish-brown.

The Brown Creeper is a winter visitant in southern New York and New England from the end of September to the end of April; in northern New York and New England it is absent or rare in winter. In summer it inhabits the deep woods of the Canadian Zone, keeping chiefly to the spruces, but occurring also in forests of hard wood. Nests of the Brown Creeper have occasionally been found in eastern Massachusetts, but its occurrence there in summer is exceptional (see map). It is everywhere a common migrant in April, late September, and early October. It spends its whole existence on the trunks and large limbs of trees. In winter it often associates with Chickadees and Kinglets, and like them has routes along the village streets and through the plantations, or through the woods. It may often be detected by its note, a thin, fine screep, like the Kinglet's, but not broken into parts, and almost exactly like the Cedar-bird's wheeze. Soon the eye is caught by the flutter of the Creeper from one tree to the base of the next. Its usual method of feeding is to ascend close to the trunk, partly supported by its tail, often making a spiral and reappearing higher up, or flying off to begin again at the base of the same or another tree.

In March or April a well-trained ear may occasionally hear the Creeper's song, a wiry little performance suggesting the syllables, wees, wee'-si, wi-see'. If two are together at this season, they utter a slight tsip, and often engage in an animated chase among the trees.

Previous Page - Table of Contents - Next Page