14 Jan 2018

Treecreeper. New to the garden ringing list.

In our previous house I think I only ever recorded one Treecreeper in 20 years! In our new place a Treecreeper has become a scarce visitor in recent months. Setting a mist net to catch Redwings among the windfall apples I was surprised to catch a Treecreeper  - the first I've ringed in my garden and probably only the 4th or 5th I've ever ringed. The last one was at Catterick in July 2014.

                                             Treecreeper, Catterick, July 2014.

Prior to that the last one I saw in the hand was one ringed by Colin in Barry's Burton garden in 2011.

These little birds are really well adapted to their life of probing for insects in tree bark. Their tail feathers are stiff (like a woodpeckers) to aid them in climbing ands they've long sharp claws and a long down-turned bill for probing into small crevices.

Quickly ringing the bird and taking the required measurements to rule out Short-toed Treecreeper I took a few photos before releasing it back into the garden where it happily flew to a large Scots Pine and started feeding. I never did catch any Redwings! Still,there’s always tomorrow.

I've got plans to make a Treecreeper nesting box so that'll be next on the list of projects.

It seems that every continent has a treecreeper species (or more than one) or a species adapted to a similar habitat. The photo below is of a White-throated Treecreeper I photographed in Australia.

 Whilst, the USA, has a variety of Treecreepers or wood warblers filling that niche - like the Black & White Warbler I saw and photographed on the Scillies a few years ago!

A few years ago I found a Treecreepers nest in Stanney Woods and photographed the bird carrying nesting material to the site. The photo below illustrates really well how they use their stiffened tail feathers to aid balance and as they climb the trees.

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