• Barbara Copperthwaite

The mouse-like Treecreeper

It's just a photo of a tree trunk, right...? Wrong! Look closely and you'll spot the cleverly camouflaged Treecreeper. A smallish bird (about 12.5cm or 5in) with mottled, streaked and spotted back and whitish underparts, the Treecreeper blends perfectly onto sun-dappled bark. Its only giveaway is when it moves - which it does in lightening spurts of speed, mouse-like. That's what caught my eye as I was walking with Scamp, just the merest flash of movement. The Treecreeper is a fairly common resident of the UK, happily living in woods, parks, and even large gardens if they have mature trees - yet most people have never seen one thanks to its expert camouflage.

It scurries in spirals up trees. When it reaches the top it flits to the bottom of the next, because Treecreepers can only move up trees not down.

They love trees with loose bark, using even the smallest crevice to nest in. Their sharp, thin, curved beak is a wonderful probing implement to reach grubs and insects.

WILD CARD: The Treecreeper has very strong, blunt tail feathers which it uses to brace against trunks so that it can rest while digging around for juicy morsels.

#photo #treecreeper #kingsheath #birmingham

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