An online resource based on the award-winning nature guide – maryholland505@gmail.com

Archive for March 29, 2012

Cryptic Coloration

Can you find the brown creeper that’s on the trunk of this black cherry tree? This is cryptic coloration, a form of camouflage in which an animal blends into its environment, at its finest.  A forager of insects and spiders tucked away behind and in the crevices of bark, the brown creeper starts its search at the base of a tree, climbing upward and often spiraling around the trunk until it nears the top.  It then flies to the base of a nearby tree to begin the process again. As W.M.Tyler wrote in 1948 in Bent’s Life Histories of N.A. Birds, “The brown creeper, as he hitches along the bole of a tree, looks like a fragment of detached bark that is defying the law of gravitation by moving upward over the trunk, and as he flies off to another tree he resembles a little dry leaf blown about by the wind.”