Brown CreeperCerthia americana

Glenn Bartley/VIREO
Garth McElroy/VIREO
Dr. Edgar T. Jones/VIREO
Brown Creeper
Brown Creeper



5-5 3/4" (13-15 cm). Smaller than a sparrow. A slender, streaked, brown bird, tinged with buff on flanks, usually seen creeping up tree trunks, using long, stiff tail for support.


A high-pitched, lisping tsee; song a tinkling, descending warble.


songs & calls
calls near nest
calls & songs


Deciduous and mixed woodlands.


Breeds from Alaska, Ontario, and Newfoundland southward throughout western mountains, Great Lakes region, North Carolina, and New England. Winters in breeding range and south to Gulf Coast and Florida.


This inconspicuous bird is most often detected by its soft, lisping call as it works its way up a tree trunk, probing the bark for insects, always moving in an upward direction, circling tree trunks in spirals, then dropping down to the base of the next tree. In late winter and spring, one may sometimes hear its song -- a thin, musical warble.


6 or 7 white eggs, lightly speckled with brown, in a cup of bark shreds, feathers, sticks, and moss, usually placed against a tree trunk behind a peeling slab of bark.

Similar Species

adult, Western

House Wren

4 1/2 -5 1/4" (11-13 cm). A tiny bird with a short tail, often held cocked over the back. Dusky brown above, paler below, with no distinctive markings.


Winter Wren

4-4 1/2" (10-11cm). A tiny, dark brown bird with a very short tail, narrow pale eyebrow, and heavily banded flanks and belly. See Pacific Wren and House Wren.

adult male, breeding

Black-and-white Warbler

5" (13 cm). Black and white stripes, including crown. Male has black throat; female's throat white. Creeps on tree trunks and branches

adult male

Red-breasted Nuthatch

4 1/2 -4 3/4" (11-12 cm). Smaller than a sparrow. Male has blue-gray upperparts, pale rust-colored underparts, black crown and line through eye, and white eyebrow. Female similar, but crown is gray.

adult male

White-breasted Nuthatch

5-6" (13-15 cm). Sparrow-sized. Blue-gray above, white underparts and face, black crown. Usually seen creeping on tree trunks, head downward.


Brown-headed Nuthatch

4-5" (10-13 cm). Smaller than a sparrow. Upperparts dull blue-gray, underparts whitish. Crown dull brown, with whitish spot on nape.


Pygmy Nuthatch

3 3/4-4 1/2" (10-11 cm). A small nuthatch. Bluish gray above, with gray-brown cap terminated by indistinct black eye line. Faint white smudge at base of nape. Creamy white below.


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