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Eurasian Treecreeper - BirdForum Opus

(Redirected from Certhia familiaris)
Subspecies britannica
Photo by Pauliev69
Low Barns, Co. Durham, April 2004
Certhia familiaris


L. 12.5-14cm
This is a small, elongated bird, fairly drab in appearance, streaked brownish above and white below. It has long stiff tail feathers which help it creep up tree trunks like a mouse looking for insects. It has a long curved bill.

Similar Species

Very similar to Short-toed Treecreeper.


Juvenile, Nominate
Photo by cango
Haninge, Sweden, 2012

Common and widespread in the British Isles and from east and south-east France east across Europe to the Urals. Isolated populations breeding in central and south-west France, the Pyrenees and Cantabrians, Corsica and the Apennines, in northern Turkey and the Caucasus. A partial migrant in north of range, occasionally eruptive, but mainly resident elsewhere.
Outside Europe found east to Siberia and China.

Vagrants recorded in the Faroes, Channel Islands and now annually in the Netherlands.


This species has previously been considered to include American Treecreeper and Hodgson's Treecreeper.


There are 10 subspecies[1]:

  • C. f. britannica: similar to macrodactyla but more buffish below
  • C. f. macrodactyla: darker and more brownish above with flanks washed buff
Subspecies britannica
Photo by paul2610
Loch Spynie, Moray and Nairn, Scotland
  • C. f. familiaris: rather pale and grey, becoming more so towards the east.
  • C. f. daurica: Siberia to Sea of Okhotsk, northern Mongolia and north-eastern China
  • C. f. orientalis: Amurland to north-eastern China, Kuril Island, Sakhalin, Hokkaido and Korea
  • C. f. japonica: Japan (Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu)
  • C. f. persica: resembles nominate but darker and drabber above
  • Crimean Peninsula, Turkey, Caucasus, Transcaucasus and northern Iran
  • C. f. tianschanica: Tien Shan Mountains (Kazakstan) to north-western China
  • C. f. bianchii: West-central China (eastern Qinghai, Gansu, Shaanxi and Shanxi)


In areas where Short-toed Treecreeper also occurs this species tends to be confined to upland areas and often conifers. Elsewhere found in deciduous woodland, parks and large gardens. In parks often found on exotic redwood trees.


Will climb up a tree trunk looking for insects and spiders in the crevices of the bark and using its feet with a long hindclaw to cling onto the trunk. Once close to the top of one tree it will fly to the base of the next and then work its way up again; it will never go down the trunk or branch, or even for a short time sit with the head pointing down.


The nest is concealed behind loose bark, in tree crevices or holes in walls. It is loosely built from grass, rootlets and bark fibres and lined with moss and wool. The 5 or 6 (sometimes more) white eggs have reddish-brown spots clustered at the large end. There may be a second clutch.


They eat mainly insects and spiders.



  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2014. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: Version 6.9., with updates to August 2014. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. The Observer's Book of Birds' Eggs ISBN 0723200602

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