Boreal Birds
300+ species, billions of birds rely on Canada's boreal forest as critical breeding grounds
© Brendan Lally/Wikimedia Commons (CC 2.0)

Brown Creeper

Brown Creeper
Certhia americana
Tree-clinging Birds | Family: Creepers, Certhiidae

An estimated 15% of the species' North American population breeds within the Boreal Forest.

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Overview

This inconspicuous bird is most often detected by its soft, lisping call as it works its way up a tree trunk, probing the bark for insects, always moving in an upward direction, circling tree trunks in spirals, then dropping down to the base of the next tree. In late winter and spring, one may sometimes hear its song -- a thin, musical warble.

Description

5-5 3/4" (13-15 cm). Smaller than a sparrow. A slender, streaked, brown bird, tinged with buff on flanks, usually seen creeping up tree trunks, using long, stiff tail for support.

Voice

A high-pitched, lisping tsee; song a tinkling, descending warble.

Nesting

6 or 7 white eggs, lightly speckled with brown, in a cup of bark shreds, feathers, sticks, and moss, usually placed against a tree trunk behind a peeling slab of bark.

Habitat

Deciduous and mixed woodlands.

Range/Migration

Breeds from Alaska, Ontario, and Newfoundland southward throughout western mountains, Great Lakes region, North Carolina, and New England. Winters in breeding range and south to Gulf Coast and Florida.