Archive for April, 2010

Brown Creeper

Thursday, April 1st, 2010

Early this afternoon in sunny, unseasonably warm weather, a Brown Creeper appeared in the trees around our back yard and edge of the woods. I first saw it as it flew to the trunk of a white oak beside our deck, and watched as it crept quickly, straight up the trunk, then around it halfway and up further. Apparently finding nothing of interest in the bark of the oak, it flew to the trunk of a pine and again crept straight up, then to another pine, and from there it flew deeper into the woods and out of sight.

A small, slender bird with blurry-streaked brown and white back, a rather long, dull-brown tail, creamy white underneath, and a thin, down-curved bill, its shape is sleek, but its coloring looked like a crumpled brown leaf, a leftover piece of the winter scene, tossing from tree to tree, attaching itself like an insect and blending in with the bark, and moving insect-like on short, hidden legs. The edges of its wings looked very dark, almost black and white. It was quiet, not singing or calling.

It’s the first Brown Creeper I’ve seen here in two or three years, though I’ve watched and listened for them all winter long – so it’s funny now to see one in early spring, probably passing through on its way north. Secretive birds by nature, in recent years creepers have become even harder to find around here, so it came as an unexpected and delightful surprise, a last glimpse of winter.

And it’s not an April-fool – it was real.