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Brown Creepers Singing

3-18-16 brown creeper singing034The high, thin notes of the brown creeper’s song are one of the first avian signs of spring. Their  delicate “tinkling” song is sung only by males on their breeding grounds, most often during territory establishment. Specifically, males sing more often before and during nest construction than during egg laying, incubation, and the nestling period. Singing activity increases again after young have fledged.

At this time of year, when there are relatively few other birds songs, the brown creeper’s song stands out, although it is so high-pitched some people have trouble hearing it. In mixed-deciduous forest, a brown creeper’s song is audible up to 400 feet away, a bit farther than the length of a football field. In addition to this song, several calls are given by both male and female creepers throughout the year. To hear the brown creeper’s song (thought by some to resemble the words, “trees, beautiful trees”) go to http://langelliott.com/mary-holland/brown-creeper/  (Sound recording © Lang Elliott – langelliott.com)

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6 responses

  1. Joan Barberich

    Dear Mary,

    I wonder if you could explain where bears hibernate in the winter. Do they dig a den? Why don’t we come across them in any of our nature hikes? Do they just nestle into some leaves? How does it work?

    Thank you, Joan on behalf of some curious parents and kids

    Joan Barberich Sanctuary for Writing Practice weekly writing groups in Northampton MA joanbarberich@gmail.com 413.341.7092

    >

    March 18, 2016 at 7:34 am

    • Hi Joan,
      Bear dens vary widely, from dug out cavities beneath fallen trees to next to no cover. They are extremely well hidden, plus there’s really not much to them, so regardless of the season, you’re not apt to recognize them for what they are. I have been 20′ from a black bear den in winter, and had no idea that a den was anywhere near until it was pointed out to me. In the summer it would have just looked like a tree had fallen over — there’s little to no structure to it. See https://naturallycuriouswithmaryholland.wordpress.com/2015/02/25/black-bear-dens/ .

      March 18, 2016 at 8:05 am

  2. Diane

    Hearing so many sweet sounds it’s hard to distinguish if this is one of them.

    March 18, 2016 at 8:46 am

  3. Susan Elliott

    Heard five creepers singing at Bomoseen State Park yesterday.

    March 18, 2016 at 12:54 pm

  4. Kathie Fiveash

    What a beautiful photograph, Mary. I’ve always felt that the brown creeper’s song sounds like one phrase of the winter wren’s song. Both so sweet and high.

    March 18, 2016 at 2:24 pm

  5. Great post – thanks! Brown creepers are at our place this year and I was not familiar with their song – now I can tell whether they are singing or not. Maybe we have females.

    March 18, 2016 at 4:21 pm

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