Saturday, March 26, 2011

Brown Creeper, Northern IL Winter bird

A winter scene from Rock Cut State Park, Rockford, IL; 1/30/11
Another visitor to the Northern Illinois area in the winter is the Brown Creeper (Below). I see this cute little bird both in my yard (mostly gleening food off the tree trunks, never actually on my feeder stations) and in the nearby forest preserves and parks. Like the House Finch (my 3/19/11 post) the Brown Creeper is considered a year round resident in parts of Northern Illinois, I only witness its presence from Fall through Spring. In winter months it can be found throughout the entire U.S. except for the southern reaches of Florida and Texas. In summer it will migrate into Canada, but will stay in the U.S in the colder climates of the mountains - Rockies and Appalachains, and the Northeast and Northwest states. Strangely enough there are other pockets where they can be found year round - Northern Illinois being one of them along with the Southwest corner of South Dakota and along the Mississippi River and Ohio River valley.

A Brown Creeper looking for spiders and insects on a backyard tree, Rockford, IL; 1/31/10.
The Brown Creeper clings to tree trunks and thicker branches by starting at the base of the tree and "creeps" its way up, then flies to another tree or branch working its way up.

A Brown Creeper in Blackhawk Springs Forest Preserve, Rockford, IL; 2/12/11.
As you can see in the photos above, the Brown Creeper has a long thin curved bill which it uses to probe into the cracks of tree bark looking for insects and spiders. It has a brown back, head and tail feathers with white spotting, and white breast and a large white eyebrow.There are two morphs of Brown Creepers - the brown version (that are in my pics) and there is a more reddish brown version.

1 comment:

Chesney said...

Beautiful capture of this cute little guy...we see these once in a while in my area, but really not much! I love that first image as how the trees all seem to line up!