Brown Creeper

Several years ago, I think in the '90's, I saw one Brown Creeper (Certhia americana) in my yard.  I have never seen another one since.  This morning, I was hiking along the dike at Wiley Slough over on Fir Island.  I was taking a brand new Canon 7D camera out for the first time.  I spotted this little fellow scooting around the side of a Red Alder right next to the trail.  He was very fast and kept moving away, but I managed to get this one quick shot.  The fast response of the 7D was a big help.

Brown Creepers are permanent residents in Washington.  According to Seattle Audubon, there are two subspecies, separated by the Cascade Mountain Range.  These are small, woodland birds that feed on insects, spiders, their eggs and pupae they find in bark crevices.  A thin, curved bill is the perfect tool for this diet.  They will hunt in a spiral pattern around the trunk.  I can vouch for the acrobatic abilities of this little bird.  Nests are in tree cavities or behind bark which has become separated from the trunk.  As you can see, their mottled brown coloring is perfect camouflage.

I felt gratified to catch a photo of a bird I hadn't seen for such a long time.  Even better, I did it on a practice run with a brand new camera.  Between the bad lighting and the elusive subject, it was a tough shot.  Maybe I can get a better Brown Creeper photo the next time I visit the dike.