Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Day 67 - Terrific Treecreepers

Treecreeper (Certhia familiaris)

Now you see me...
Hi all today's Day 67 and I have one of the loveliest little birds that I have ever seen in all my life. As you can see from the title above, you'll know that I am doing Treecreepers today. I saw the one you can see in the photos at Fairburn Ings. I have mentioned this great reserve several times so if you are ever near Leeds, then go and take a look at it. Have to say this little bird was very lively and hard to photograph!

Anyway without further ado, here are the facts:

  • It is a small very active bird that lives in trees, they have evolved intricately patterned feathers that are the same colour as bark and blend with the trees to make them spectacularly well camouflaged.
  • They hop up and down the trunks of trees looking for food and some people think they look like mice when they do this and they have therefore been given the nickname 'tree mouse'.
...and now you dont'! (well almost)
  • They climb up trees in a spiral fashion using their curved, pointy beaks to find food in the bark such as earwigs, woodlice and beetles. They also eat pine and spruce seeds in the winter when bugs aren't as plentiful.
  • They can't actually climb back down the trees again so they leap off and fly to the base of the next tree when they have finished the previous tree.
  • The treecreeper is similar in size to the wren but its longer bill and longer stiff tail make it appear larger.
  • Adding to this they are 12cm long with a 19cm. They have a very small weight of only 10g. That's just one more gram than a blue tit!
  • Their typical life span is two years but the oldest recorded Treecreeper was 8 years and 18 days old.
  • They are a green status bird and the RSPB say they have around 200,000 breeding territories in the UK and their population is stable.
  • At night the Treecreeper will sleep in a hole that it has made in the bark of a tree so it especially likes Redwood Trees that have soft, thick barks. All you can see is their back feathers and this makes them relatively safe from predators such as owls.
  • There are a few winter conditions that can effect Treecreepers such as exposed trees that they feed on becoming frozen. You can help them in these conditions by smearing fat onto trunks which they will sometimes eat in poor winter weather.
Here are some links if you want to find out more about these little birds which I really, really like:

Hope you enjoyed,


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