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Birds of the St. Croix River Valley: Minnesota and Wisconsin



Brown Creeper

Brown Creeper (Certhia familiaris)

Status: Regular migrant, winter resident, and probable nesting species.

Migration: Fairly common migrant throughout the Valley. Spring migrants arrive in the Western Upland 10-20 March, reaching the Northern Highland about 25 March. Peak spring abundance occurs 10-20 April and departure by 10 May (latest-19 May 1966, Washington County). The first fall migrants arrive in the Western Upland 1-10 September. Peak fall abundance occurs 25 September to 25 October and most have departed by 20 November.

Nesting Season Distribution: Uncommon and local resident, restricted primarily to the Northern Highland, although occasionally observed in the Central Plain. There is no direct evidence of nesting in the Valley. I have observed breeding season adults along the upper St. Croix River in Douglas and Pine counties in 1976 and 1977. Although I observed no nests or young, these records suggest possible nesting. Intensive field work in southern Douglas and throughout Pine counties during late May and June may shed additional light on brown creeper breeding status.

Winter: Brown creepers occur throughout the Valley during early winter; observations were made until 23 December in southern Douglas County. During midwinter this species is rare or absent in the Northern Highland and Central Plain, uncommon and local in the Western Upland.

Habitat: My observations of brown creepers during the nesting season have been confined to extensive stands of Northern Hardwood Forest that are dominated by mixed sugar maple, basswood, white birch, trembling aspen, red pine, and white pine. During the winter Lowland Deciduous Forest, dominated by silver maple, American elm, and green ash, is used extensively. Occasional use is also made of mixed-oak forest and Pine Plantations.

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