Treecreeper

Certhia familiaris

12.5cm

Appearance

Male and female Treecreepers are similar. The narrow, sharp bill curves downward, the tail is rigid and long, the upper parts are streaky brown, the underparts are whitish and tinged with silver, the rump is browner than the rest of the body, and there’s an uneven, buffish strip over the eye. Juveniles are like adults, with the only difference being that freshly hatched birds retain some downy feathers for a couple of months.

Habitat

Woodlands of deciduous and coniferous trees can be breeding territories for these birds, and parklands and gardens can also be suitable.

Character

The Treecreeper is a very active bird, making its way up trees in a spiralling pattern, then searching bark for prey by tapping with its bill. When it has reached the heights of a tree, the bird flies down and begins spiralling up the next tree. May roost communally in tree trunks during wintertime, occasionally remains with its partner beyond the breeding season, and may socialise with smaller birds.

Food

Diet includes stoneflies, crickets, earwigs, lacewings, caterpillars and seeds.

Breeding

Female lays 5 or 6 eggs and incubates them for approximately 14 days. Male and female birds tend to the young, which learn to fly at about 15 days old, gaining independence after a further week. A second brood is sometimes raised.

Population

The Treecreeper is a resident bird in the region, and some birds from the north and east of Europe may migrate through the region. There are approximately 214 000 pairs in the UK and more than 20 000 in Ireland.

Observation Tips

The call of the Treecreeper often gives it away, and it is easier to spot once autumn leaves have fallen in appropriate woodland.

Voice

The Treecreeper’s song can be so high in pitch that it challenges a human’s hearing. The ‘seet, seet’ call is also high-pitched and wavering.
Back to Bird Index