Saturday, January 21, 2012

Winter Birds in Ramsey Canyon, AZ: Brown Creeper

A vista off the side of the road on our way to Ramsey Canyon. I loved the contrast of the dry golden grass of the desert prairie in front of the snow-covered Huachuca Mts., Sierra Vista, AZ; 12/19/2011.
While we were finding our way to Ramsey Canyon, southwest of Sierra Vista in the Huachuca Mts., I saw a raptor on the side of the road and stopped to try to get its photograph, hoping for a new bird to add to my Raptor file. It turned out to be a Red-tailed Hawk (Below), which is the most common hawk I see in Rockford, IL. While we were stopped we took some photos of the beautiful scenery (Above) - loved the view of the blue mountains with a smattering of snow on them behind the golden desert prairie grass.
The Red-tailed Hawk flew off as I came too close, Sierra Vista, AZ; 12/19/2011.

A nice look at the tiny Brown Creeper, which usually camouflages itself quite well against the tree bark, Ramsey Canyon, AZ; 12/19/2011.
At the entrance of the Nature Conservatory, while we were chasing a Painted Redstart (My 1/15/2012 Post), I noticed a Brown Creeper on a nearby tree. This is by far the best positioning I've ever had to photograph of a Brown Creeper, so I was happy to do so (Above).  He obliged by not skirting around to the other side of the tree trunk as these little guys do. During the summer, Brown Creepers can be found in the southern half of Canada and migrates throughout the lower U.S. for the winter with the exception of the Gulf Coast. I see them several times a year in my yard during winter. They can be found year round in the Northwest and the Northeast, as well as in the Rocky and Appalachian Mountain Ranges.
The same Brown Creeper, Ramsey Canyon, AZ; 12/19/2011.
Brown Creepers (Above) have a variegated brown back and wings with whitish underparts and a pale eyebrow, and its signature thin curved bill which it uses to glean insects from the crevices of the tree bark as it creeps up the trunk in a spiral type motion. It generally does not crawl down; it will fly back to a lower position of the trunk or branch of a tree, then creep upwards again.

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