Short-Toed Treecreeper

Scientific name: Certhia brachydactyla

Did you know: The Short-Toed Treecreeper, a master of camouflage, can effortlessly blend into the bark of trees, making it a delightful challenge for keen birdwatchers!

What Do Short-Toed Treecreepers Look Like? (How to Identify Them)

The Short-Toed Treecreeper is a small passerine bird, boasting a length of 12.5 centimetres and a weight between 7.5–11 grams. It’s characterised by its dull grey-brown upperparts intricately patterned with black, buff, and white, and a contrasting white throat. 

Both males and females share similar plumage, making them indistinguishable in the field. Juveniles have a buff belly that sets them apart from adults.

Differences Between Male And Female Short-Toed Treecreepers

Visually distinguishing between male and female Short-Toed Treecreepers is a tough task, as both sexes exhibit similar plumage and physical features. However, minute differences might be discernible in their behaviour, especially during the breeding season.

What Do Short-Toed Treecreepers Eat?

These birds are adept at foraging for insects and spiders, which they skillfully extract from crevices in tree bark using their long, thin bills. Starting at the base of a tree, they spiral upwards in search of their prey. In colder months, their diet is supplemented with seeds.

Where Do Short-Toed Treecreepers Live? (Including Migration Info)

The Short-Toed Treecreeper prefers deciduous woodlands and is found throughout warmer regions of Europe and into North Africa. Although primarily sedentary, some post-breeding dispersal leads to occasional vagrancy beyond their usual range. 

They typically inhabit lower altitudes and avoid pure coniferous forests, favouring well-grown trees like oaks.

Bird Calls & Songs (The Unique Voices of Short-Toed Treecreepers)

The call of the Short-Toed Treecreeper is a distinctive, repeated shrill ‘tyt…tyt tyt-tyt.’ Its song varies geographically, with the nominate subspecies producing an evenly spaced sequence of notes. Interestingly, the song differs slightly in pitch and complexity across its range.

Fun Short-Toed Treecreeper Facts (Kid Friendly)

  • These birds use their stiff tail feathers for support as they hop up tree trunks.
  • Their cryptic plumage allows them to blend seamlessly with tree bark.
  • They are known for their unique undulating flight, resembling fluttering butterflies.
  • In winter, groups of up to twenty may roost together for warmth.
  • Their nests are often hidden in tree crevices or behind bark flakes.
  • The Short-Toed Treecreeper’s diet changes slightly in winter, adding seeds to its insect-based diet.
  • Their song varies depending on their geographic location.
  • Despite being small, they are not wary of humans and can be observed up close.

Short-Toed Treecreeper Images

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Male
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Female
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Hatchling
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Nestling
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Chick
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Fledgling
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Juvenile

Facts About The Short-Toed Treecreeper

Diet: Insects and spiders
Bird Family: Treecreepers
Length: 12cm
Wingspan: 17-20.5cm
Weight: 8-11g
Scientific Name: Certhia brachydactyla

The Short-Toed Treecreeper Can Be Seen In The UK During The Following Months

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December