Tiny Master of Camouflage

After too many hours of sitting in front of the computer I got up to stretch and went over to the window to see if anything was moving out by the tree stumps. At first I didn’t see anything. Then a slight movement caught my eye. I went to the camera and checked things out further and there was this tiny wren like bird that I didn’t recall having ever seen before. There he was, just hanging onto the bark of an ash tree. Except for the wind occasionally fluttering his feathers, he was hardly noticeable. As I later read of their habits, this tiny master of camouflage employs this concealing tactic to avoid being seen by a hawk or other predator. But I’m getting ahead of myself. As earlier stated, this was a strange bird to me and it took a little research into Sibley’s and iBird Pro to determine its identity and culture. Well, it wasn’t a wren but rather a Brown Creeper. Scientifically named Certhia americana, it is a member of the Certhiidae family of Passeriformes. Reading on I learned that this tiny bird is a tree-clinger that is actually pretty common throughout North America. It will hitch up tree trunks, starting at the base and moving up in a spiral manner as it searches for insects. Then it will hop down and start spiraling up another tree in search of food. Interestingly, they tend to pair up with other Brown Creepers only during mating season. At other times, they’ll commonly be found hanging out with chickadees and nuthatches. On this particular frigid but sunny winter afternoon, I was able to capture this strange little visitor at f/13 and 1/250th second.

Tiny Master of Camouflage

Tiny Master of Camouflage

About Jim Rook

Wildlife, Landscape & Nature Photography, Alexandria, MN
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