This week Michael O'Brien features the Treecreeeper:
Treecreeper, Certhia familiaris Snag
The treecreeper is not a well-known bird in The Park, but there are quite a number of them if you know where to look.
Adults show a brownish head and back with white underneath. The long brownish tail has stiff feathers which support their body as they climb.
The bill is slightly curved downwards, which allows them to comfortably probe the bark for insects. Sexes are similar.
The young are a softer colour than the adults. They can be seen climbing up the trunk of a tree or along its branches looking for food.
They cannot climb downwards so therefore when they reach the top they will fly down to another tree and start up again. If disturbed they will stay quite still until danger has passed. Their camouflage colouring is their protection and makes it difficult to see them.
Not much bigger than a wren, it builds its nest in a crack in a tree trunk or under the bark if it can find a hole big enough. The female lays 5-6 little white eggs with brownish spots, incubates for 12-15 days with the young fledgling in a further 15-17 days. One or two broods in a season.
As stated they can appear anywhere in the wood. Look for some of the big oak trees or the lime trees which have deep bark on them and watch for a while. I hope you will see one or two. I once observed an entire family of 5 or 6 climbing the Arch Wall of the Blackcastle. The parents were feeding the young as they climbed. A lovely sight.
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