Brown Creeper (Certhia americana)

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Brown creepers are small, cryptic birds that can be difficult to spot because of how incredibly well they blend in with tree bark. This species is brown and white, has a long tail, and a slender, down-curved bill. Brown creepers have a distinctive foraging behaviour that involves starting at the bottom and spiralling upwards on the trunk or large branches to the top of one tree, before heading back down to the bottom of a new tree to repeat the process. Brown creepers eat mostly insects and larvae which they find within the tree bark.

Brown creepers are a common but hard-to-see species. They are widely distributed within central and southern BC. This species prefers mature and old conifer-dominated forests. Brown creepers are most common within the Coastal Douglas-fir biogeoclimatic zone, followed by the Coastal Western Hemlock biogeoclimatic zone. Brown creepers can commonly be found on larger, live trees with deeply furrowed bark that has high densities of insects.

The brown creeper is not listed as a species of concern in BC. However, BC contains optimal habitat for this species, especially Coastal Douglas-fir ecosystems, which are limited in size and should be protected. Harvesting of the older trees that brown creepers prefer could have negative effects on local populations.

For more information, visit the BC Breeding Bird Atlas, E-Fauna BC, and All About Birds by the Cornell Lab.

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