Brown Creeper

Silhouette CreepersCreepers

Brown Creeper

Certhia americana
  • ORDER: Passeriformes
  • FAMILY: Certhiidae
Basic Description

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.

More ID Info
image of range map for Brown CreeperRange map provided by Birds of North AmericaExplore Maps

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.

Other Names
  • Agateador Americano (Spanish)
  • Grimpereau brun (French)

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 out more about what this bird likes to eat and what feeder is best by using the Project FeederWatch Common Feeder Birds bird list.

  • Cool Facts