Brown Creeper

(Certhia americana)

The Brown Creeper is a small bird about 4.75 inches in length. A mottled brown back that blends in well with tree bark.

It has a white breast and a white belly that fades to tan toward the vent.

It has a pale eye-line and a bold, buff band across each wing that can be seen from above and below in flight.

Its rump is reddish brown and its tail long and stiff.

The bill is thin and curved.

Where They Live:

These little Creepers prefer mature, moist, coniferous forests or mixed coniferous/deciduous forests. They are found in drier forests as well, including Engelmann spruce and Larch forests.

While they generally nest in hardwoods, conifers are preferred for foraging. In the Pacific Northwest, look for them in Douglas firs.


Creepers spend most of their time on main trunks or major limbs, bracing themselves with their tails like miniature woodpeckers.

These inconspicuous and quiet birds are easy to overlook as they spiral up the trunk of a tree, probing into bark crevices with their narrow, curved bills.

After a Creeper gets to the top of a tree, it flies down to the bottom of the next tree to start over.

Outside of the breeding season, Brown Creepers often flock with kinglets, nuthatches, and chickadees.


Insects, spiders and their eggs, and pupae that they find hidden in bark crevices make up a main part of their diet.

They eat some seeds and will come to suet feeders.


Nests are occasionally built in cavities, but for the most part they are tucked into crevices in tree trunks where the bark has separated from the trunk.

Males defend their nesting territories by singing, and may chase females around trees during courtship.

Nests are found at varying heights and in various shapes, usually filling the available crevice.

Nests are generally cups made of twigs, bark strips, moss, and leaves, with soft linings. The male helps provide material, but the female generally builds the nest.

She lays and incubates 5 to 6 eggs for 14 to 17 days. The male and female both feed the nestlings, which leave the nest 13 to 16 days after hatching.

If you have mature trees growing in your yard and gardens, you might see these busy birds gleaning insects and eggs from your trees.

In the cold of winter, look for Brown creepers at your suet and peanut feeders.

Be sure to offer fresh water for all your wildlife

This species has declined in much of North America.

Brown Creeper and Other Common Birds

Plant a Bird Garden

Trees for Food and Protection

Native Shrubs

Native Flowers and Plants

Fresh Water for all Your Wildlife

Peanuts, Suet and More for Your Birds

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