Friday, January 26, 2007

camouflage bird


I just took this photo a few minutes ago out the back window at work. The poor lighting in this photo does not do justice to what was probably the best view I've ever had of a brown creeper (Certhia americana). It does, however, show what this sparrow-sized bird's exquisite brown/gray markings do very well. When the creeper saw me as I edged closer to the window, it froze, and had I not been fixed on its location I may have missed it altogether against the bark.

Because of their cryptic habits and coloration, brown creepers are rarely seen although they are a regular year round resident in this area. They prefer mature woods, where as their name suggests, they creep up the trunks of trees gleaning insects from the crevices in the bark.

The close up look I got today showed me, for the first time, the detailed beauty that can be found in such an inconspicuous little brown bird. Nuthatch from Bootstrap Analysis has noticed this beauty as well, and even included a much better picture than I have here, courtesy of Cindy Mead of Woodsong.

Now I'm glad I didn't leave work early, as I had been contemplating; I would have missed this wonderful close up view!

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great picture. I love stuff like camouflage and mimicry in nature. It's fascinating to look at. I always feel lucky when I get to see it in person.

.... meow >^^ said...

not sure if I see it or if I want to and imagine I am...what a photo!

LauraHinNJ said...

I always feel lucky to spot these guys too.

Anonymous said...

Brown creepers are such great birds. Nice picture!

Anonymous said...

Great cryptic coloration.
Good shootin' Deb.

Anonymous said...

I love your picture Deb- it shows perfectly how hard they can be to spot!

Deb said...

Wow, I didn't know there were so many brown creeper fans out there! Thanks everyone, and welcome, ...meow>^^< !

MojoMan said...

Thanks for teaching me something new. I saw a few creepers this fall and assumed they were migrating through. I didn't know they stayed up North for the winter. I'll have to keep my eyes open next time I'm out.

Cindy said...

ah, a bird after my own heart.. I love these little guys and almost always hear them before I see them. They have the most melodic little call notes that sound kinda like 'trees, trees, trees, see the trees'. The trees are easy to see, but the brown creeper sure is not :) Greaet post Deb and a great photo showing just how camoflauged they really are.

Tracy said...

I'm not sure how it is up further north, but here in the Twin Cities it seems as if brown creepers have a schedule they keep. They're here in the summer, nowhere to be seen in the fall, back again come January, then MIA in the spring (they're probably nesting then). I just saw the first one of the winter this weekend, which makes me think spring will eventually come again.

Anonymous said...

I had never seen a brown creeper in my life. (Which is not to say that they have not been around, just that I had never seen one.) Then yesterday when I was filling feeders, there was a strange-to-me bird. Hm. . . that looks like what Deb was talking about. Then today there were two, my bird books were open to the page describing their behavior, and they acted just right! How exciting! Thanks for the heads up. Without your fine camo photo, I'd probably still be pondering. They are very interested in my suet feeders. (Seen in Kansas)

Deb said...

mojoman- They do seem to be a northern bird, judging from the range maps. I've seen them sporadically, but not enough to know their migration habits here.

Cindy- I'll have to learn the call, I'm not familiar with it!

Tracy- I haven't kept close enough track to know their schedule around here. I guess that's one thing to pay more attention to!

Anonymous- It amazes me to think that somehow, somewhere, stuff that I post is making a difference--to think that had I not posted that, you may have not noticed the brown creeper! The one I saw totally ignored the suet feeder, but maybe it felt a little conspicuous at that time. Thanks for sharing yoru experience!