Brown Creeper

(Certhia americana)

Conservation Status
Brown Creeper
Photo by Ramona Abrego
  IUCN Red List

LC - Least Concern


N5 - Secure

SNRB, SNRN - Unranked Breeding and Nonbreeding


not listed


Brown Creeper is very well camouflaged. The head, upperside, and wings are a dark dull brown heavily mottled with brownish-white. When still on a tree trunk, it is difficult to distinguish from the bark. The rump is rich rusty brown. The tail is relatively long. The underparts are dull white. There is a white “eyebrow” streak above the eye. The bill is curved downward.




5 to 5½ in length

7½ wingspan




A series of 5 or 6 high-pitched notes, 1 long followed by 4 or 5 shorter, lasting about 1½ seconds. Described as trees, beautiful trees, or trees-trees-trees see the trees.


Similar Species

  No similar species in North America  

Mature, deciduous, coniferous and mixed forest, especially wet areas with large dead trees




When foraging, the brown creeper begins near the bottom of a tree and moves upward with quick jerky movements, sometimes in a spiral around the tree trunk, leaning on its relatively long tail for support. White-breasted Nuthatch often moves downward, starting near the top of a tree trunk, though it can also move upward or sideways. The different direction of movement exposes different bark crevices to each species.




Mid-March to late May and September through November.








In the warm season, insects, insect larvae, spiders, spider eggs, and pseudoscorpions. In the winter, seeds and other vegetable matter.




Very widespread in North America. In Minnesota, uncommon to local breeder, uncommon to occasionally common migrant, uncommon winter resident.




The Minnesota Ornithologists’ Union All Seasons Species Occurrence Map

  Class Aves (birds)  


Passeriformes (perching birds)  


Certhiidae (treecreepers)  


Certhia (typical treecreepers)  

Subordinate Taxa


Northern Group

Brown Creeper (Certhia americana alascensis)

Northeastern Brown Creeper (Certhia americana americana)

Brown Creeper (Certhia americana leucosticta)

Brown Creeper (Certhia americana montana)

Brown Creeper (Certhia americana nigrescens)

Brown Creeper (Certhia americana occidentalis)

Brown Creeper (Certhia americana phillipsi)

Haida Creeper (Certhia americana stewarti)

Brown Creeper (Certhia americana zelotes)


Southern Group

Brown Creeper (Certhia americana alticola)

Brown Creeper (Certhia americana guerrerensis)

Brown Creeper (Certhia americana jaliscensis)

Guatemalan Brown Creeper (Certhia americana pernigra)

Honduran Brown Creeper (Certhia americana extima)

Mexican Brown Creeper (Certhia americana albescens)















Visitor Photos

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Greg Watson

    Brown Creeper      

Dan W. Andree


"Brown Creeper"...

In the woods along the Wild Rice River in Norman Co. Mn. Jan. 2021. They can blend in well with the tree trunks and branches.

  Brown Creeper  
        Brown Creeper  

Ramona Abrego

    Brown Creeper      

Laurie Wachholz

    Brown Creeper      






Brown Creeper
Allen Chartier
  Brown Creeper  
Brown Creeper
JMC Nature Photos
  Brown Creeper  



Visitor Videos

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Other Videos
  Brown Creeper (Certhia americana) Foraging Behavior
Carl Barrentine

Published on May 9, 2013

Normal and slow-motion views of a Brown Creeper (Certhiidae: Certhia americana) foraging for arthropods on the trunk and branches of a green ash. Photographed at Grand Forks, North Dakota (09 May 2013)

  Brown Creeper (Certhia americana)
Mark George

Published on Apr 1, 2013

Filmed in Western Canada

  Brown Creeper (Certhiidae: Certhia americana) Foraging
Carl Barrentine

Uploaded on Oct 23, 2009

Photographed at Grand Forks, North Dakota (22 October 2009).

  Brown Creeper Bringing Food to the Nest
Larry Jordan

Published on Jul 24, 2012

Brown Creepers (Certhia americana) at Lassen Volcanic National Park were found bringing food to their nest. I didn't see the nest at first and the birds were flying around me and vocalizing, flying from tree to tree and climbing, then flying near me and chirping at me. I finally figured out that I was near the nest opening and backed off to where they could get in to feed their young. You can see the adults going into the top of the nest opening and a few seconds later, coming out another adjacent opening lower between the bark. At the end of the video, I show you the actual entrance from the side where the adults are accessing the nest.

  Brown Creeper
Eco Nut

Uploaded on Oct 3, 2010 ~ I found this Brown creeper upside-down on my deck -- I suspect it hit my living room window. It was really cool outside so I held the bird in my hand to keep it warm and until I felt it was getting better. I then let it latch on to the Aspen where it sat for a few more minutes before flying off. I hope there was no lasting damage...




Visitor Sightings

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Be sure to include a location.
  Greg Watson

Location: Eagles Bluff Park, La Crescent, MN

Brown Creeper  
  Dan W. Andree

Location: Norman Co. Mn.

In the woods along the Wild Rice River in Norman Co. Mn. Jan. 2021. They can blend in well with the tree trunks and branches.

Brown Creeper  
  Ramona Abrego

Location: Washington County

Brown Creeper  
  Tamara G.

Location: SW Rochester, MN

Came in at the same time as a Downy Woodpecker and a Chickadee







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