Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Forest and Rangeland Birds of the United States
Natural History and Habitat Use
Brown Creeper -- Certhia americana
RANGE: Breeds from southwestern, central, and southeastern Alaska, central
Alberta, central Manitoba, and Newfoundland south to southern California, across
to extreme western Texas, southeastern Nebraska, southeastern Missouri, southern
Ontario, eastern Ohio, and West Virginia; in the Applachians to eastern Tennessee
and western North Carolina; and to the lowlands of Virginia, Maryland and Delaware.
Breeds also through Mexico into Central America. Winters generally through the
breeding range, withdrawing from the higher latitudes and elevations and south
throughout the eastern United States and southern Texas, the Gulf Coast, and central
STATUS: Inconspicuous, but locally common.
HABITAT: Inhabits dense coniferous, deciduous, and mixed woodlands,
montane forests, and wooded swamps with standing dead trees with loose bark.
During migration and in winter, occurs in open woodlands, scrub forests, parks,
and suburban trees.
SPECIAL HABITAT REQUIREMENTS: Dead trees with loose bark, preferably
with a minimum dbh of 10 inches.
NEST: Constructs nest between loose bark and the trunk of a live, dead,
or dying tree, generally 5 to 15 feet above the ground. Occasionally nests in
natural cavities or old woodpecker holes.
FOOD: Explores tree trunks and branches for insects and larvae. Also
eats a small amount of mast.
REFERENCES: Bent 1948, Davis 1978, DeGraff et al. 1980, Johnsgard 1979,
Terres 1980, Thomas et al. 1979.
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