Bird of the Week: Brown Creeper

Aw, man!

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Species: Brown Creeper (American Treecreeper), or Certhia americana

Family: Certhiidae (Treecreepers)

Star sign: Gemini

Rating: Yes/10

Ideal Date: Creeping up trees (duh!)

This edition’s feature bird is a tiny tuft of feathers with a love of big, tall trees. Brown creepers (or american treecreepers) are, as their name would imply, brown birds which like to creep, specifically up trees. They are simple creatures with simple pleasures. They see a cool tree; they climb it like mini woodpeckers, hitching up the trunk in a spiral pattern and pecking at any bugs they find nestled in the bark with their thin, curved beaks. As members of the treecreeper family of birds — and the only species of treecreeper that’s found in North America — brown creepers are well adapted for their niche and are also brain-meltingly cute.

No head and all fluff, it cannot be overstated how adorable these funky little lads are. At barely five inches long, one brown creeper is so small that it could fit in the palm of your hand, and eating a single spider gives them enough energy to zoom up 200 whole feet of tree. They are so small and downy that one cannot help but want to protect them and make sure they grow up healthy. All they do is look cute and climb trees; what more could anyone possibly want from a bird?

With brown streaked backs that resemble pieces of bark, brown creepers camouflage easily into their beloved trees. But once you know what to look for, they are a cakewalk to recognize: if you see a small brown bird climbing up a tree, a brown creeper is pretty much the only thing it could be (the only other U.S. birds which climb trees are woodpeckers and nuthatches, which can’t typically be found in solid brown). Brown creepers prefer mature forests to suburbs, and coniferous trees to deciduous, but really can be found anywhere with a nice big tree for them to climb up — and that includes Reed’s own campus, where they can be found year-round. Just keep a keen eye out, and you will be rewarded with the sight of one of the most aww-inducing friends in North America.

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