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Brown Creeper

Certhia americana ORDER: PASSERIFORMES FAMILY: CERTHIIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

Brown Creepers are tiny woodland birds with an affinity for the biggest trees they can find. Look for these little, long-tailed scraps of brown and white spiraling up stout trunks and main branches, sometimes passing downward-facing nuthatches along the way. They probe into crevices and pick at loose bark with their slender, downcurved bills, and build their hammock-shaped nests behind peeling flakes of bark. Their piercing calls can make it much easier to find this hard-to-see but common species.

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Backyard Tips

Though they eat mostly insects, in winter Brown Creepers will eat suet and peanut butter, and occasionally sunflower seeds, pine seeds, grass seeds, and corn. You’re more likely to see them if there are large, old trees nearby.

Find This Bird

Brown Creepers are well camouflaged and inconspicuous against tree bark in a shady forest, but if you keep your eyes peeled for movement, you may find a creeper zigzagging upward as it gleans insects from the trunk, or see the small shape of one dropping from high on a trunk to the base of a nearby tree. Once learned, the high, insistent call note can alert you to the presence of these birds. Look for Brown Creepers in mature woods, if possible, though you can also find them in parks and suburban areas in the winter.