The Brown Creeper of the Pacific Northwest
The brown creeper is an extremely common bird and lives in a large portion of the coastal region of BC; however, you probably have never seen it or would not even notice it if it were right in front of you.
This little bird is well camouflaged but is worth the effort of trying to lure to your garden where maybe you can enjoy its visitations.
The brown creeper is a small bird, about up to 14 cm tall. They have streaked brown plumage and buff colored undersides. As a result, they blend in naturally with the trees they inhabit and upon which they find their food.
If you look closely, you will notice their distinctive down curved bill.
Brown creepers can be found from Alaska eastward across Canada to Newfoundland. They inhabit all of the BC coastal region. They are also found throughout the United States.
They like to inhabit woodland areas, both deciduous and mixed. Nests are built usually behind a loose piece of bark on a tree, which means that you probably will not be able to find their nests at all. During the breeding season, up to 7 white eggs with reddish brown spots are laid. The female incubates the eggs for up to 15 days. The male will then help feed the young until they leave the nest in about 14 days later.
If you are walking or hiking through a wooded region in your area and want to try to find a brown creeper, look on the trunks of the trees very closely. Brown creepers start at the bottom of the trunks and work their way up the tree in a spiral looking for insects, such as larvae, pupae, caterpillars, spiders, weevils, and others. Once they have traveled close to the top of the tree, they will float down to the bottom of the trunk of a neighboring tree like a leaf falling and begin their upward spiral once again.
You can lure them to your own yard by supplying them with peanut butter smeared on a tree trunk. They also like suet, nuts, seeds and peanuts. In the winter, they form groups with chickadees, nuthatches, and woodpeckers.
This tiny bird may seem nondescript, lacking any bright, colorful plumage to draw your attention. Nevertheless, once you have managed to spot one on a tree, its foraging methods will fascinate you.