Monday, January 19, 2009

What's that creeping up the tree?

Look what Larry found creeping up his tree this weekend...

..a beautiful Brown Creeper

Look in the bottom-right corner. He is perfectly camouflaged against the bark, creeping around that poison ivy runner. With brown and white streaked feathers, creepers have the ability to blend into the tree trunk, and if they sense danger, this becomes their defense. They freeze and hunker into the bark, virtually disappearing from sight.

Brown Creepers are winter visitors, and they are fun to watch!! Creepers fly down to the base of a tree and then systematically spiral upwards, nabbing insects from behind the bark. When they reach the top of the tree, they fly down to the base of the next tree and start all over. The constant spiraling is entertaining. We had a pair visit for a few days last year and the year before. I loved watching them. (I have to add, The Spotter, once again, spotted them before I did.)

Brown Creepers and White-breasted Nuthatches complement each other. Nuthatches walk down the tree, loosening bark and picking out insects on their way down, while creepers spiral up the tree, working the bark from the bottom at a different angle and getting the insects the white-breasted nuthatches missed.

Both are fed, and the tree is happy too. Mother Nature always knows what she’s doing. 


Rob Ripma said...

Great shot of the Brown Creeper. They are such amazing birds to watch!

Snowbabies said...

Lovely shot of the Creeper! We have Tree Creepers over here but I've yet to see one.


Kelly said...

Rob: Thanks! I'm lucky to have Larry as a friend. I hope some day my photos will be as good.
Paul: I wish I could see our creepers more often! One of my favorites. They are so unique and fun to watch.