The Brown Creeper is an interesting little bird that almost everyone has the opportunity to see. They’re found year-round in the northeast and west, and in the central and southern parts of the country during the winter. They’re somewhat like a nuthatch, but are in their own family. There are two species of creeper in Europe and the Brown Creeper is the only creeper in the U.S.
Look for Creepers in woodland areas, where they forage for insects and other invertebrates in the bark of trees. They’re extremely well camouflaged and, when frightened, they’ll remain motionless against the tree, blending with the bark and almost becoming invisible. You might spot one simply by the unique way they creep up and around a tree, searching for food. When they reach the top, they’ll fly down to the base of the next tree and proceed to spiral up that one. To a novice birder the Brown Creeper may initially appear to be a nuthatch, but an easy way to distinguish these birds is that creepers go up trees when foraging while nuthatches go down.
The Brown Creeper also has an interesting nest. Built under a flap of loose bark, the nest is made in two parts. One part consists of cocoons and spider egg cases attached to the inner bark, while the cup that holds the eggs is made with feathers, mosses and leaves along with fine fibers and bits of bark. They can lay anywhere between 1-8 eggs that are white with tiny pinkish-brown spots.
Brown Creepers have been known to visit bird feeders for chopped nuts and suet. Shop duncraft.com and try our Amazing Insect Miracle Crumble, which you can spread on tree bark or serve on a platform feeder or covered bowl. Happy Birding!
Written by R. Brune
P.S. Enjoy watching this video of a Brown Creeper moving along a tree trunk, video immediately below.