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Eurasian Treecreeper or Short-toed Treecreeper

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Old Saturday 19th March 2005, 15:59   #1
Carpie
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Wink Eurasian Treecreeper or Short-toed Treecreeper

I cant't see the difference , help please.
Thanks Carola.

Maby the second photo is better!!!
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Last edited by Carpie : Saturday 19th March 2005 at 16:57.
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Old Saturday 19th March 2005, 16:26   #2
StuartReeves
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I'm not sure there is enough detail visible in this photograph to tell, but based on what I can see of the markings on the wing, I would tend to favour Short-toed treecreeper, Certhia brachydactyla.

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Old Saturday 19th March 2005, 16:33   #3
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Same here - I'd favour Certhia brachydactyla, but not 100% certain
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Old Saturday 19th March 2005, 16:41   #4
Edward woodwood
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better off trying to hear the difference Carpie!

Tim
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Old Saturday 19th March 2005, 16:42   #5
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longish bill and flank tone point rather towards Short-toed
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Old Saturday 19th March 2005, 16:57   #6
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Maby the second photo is better!!!


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Old Saturday 19th March 2005, 17:08   #7
StuartReeves
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The second photo is a bit more helpful and still tends to support C. brachydactyla. The best features for this are the pale spots on the primary tips and the rusty colouration on the flanks and vent. However, these things are not easy and as Tim says, the best way to tell them apart is to hear them sing !

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Old Saturday 19th March 2005, 17:15   #8
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the step in the wing supports Common though

and the hind claw is rather long too.....
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Old Saturday 19th March 2005, 17:27   #9
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Where was it helps most! Cool (mostly evergreen and beech) forests would suggest Common whereas your bird is on deciduous trees... one looks to be a Prunus sp. - this suggests low altitude and Short-toed treecreeper. Here (NE Italy) anything below 1000m on a south facing slope in the Alps is a S-T T.
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Old Saturday 19th March 2005, 17:34   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Touty
Where was it helps most! Cool (mostly evergreen and beech) forests would suggest Common whereas your bird is on deciduous trees... one looks to be a Prunus sp
Betula pubescens on the first pic, possibly Ulmus carpinifolia (not definite) on the second pic
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Old Saturday 19th March 2005, 18:38   #11
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I would say that bird is Short-toed treecreeper, based on the edge of alula and steps
in the primaries (especially photo 1). Also bill seems so longish as Tim says.
I compared between illustrations of bird guides and pictures of Common Treecreeper and I noticed some small differences between them, especially in steps on the primaries !
So illustrations are not always so accurate ...

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Old Saturday 19th March 2005, 18:59   #12
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Hmm.. I need to look harder, but the plumage feature I tend to rely on, (I prefer to hear them) the break in the pale band in the primaries, is very much pointing to Common on this bird. To make it worse, as far as I can see the alula pattern looks better for Short-toed, the bill is certainly more Short-toed like but the other feature I tend to use - the primary spacing (in pic 2), looks more like Common again. I'd not attempt to ID this bird!
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Old Saturday 19th March 2005, 19:24   #13
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While a UK race Certhia familiaris britannica might, I can't believe a C. f. macrodactyla (the race found in the Netherlands) would ever show flanks this dusky. So pretty good for C. brachydactyla for me.
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Old Saturday 19th March 2005, 19:28   #14
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Well I haven't got a clue LOL But lovely photos anyway...Treecreepers are one of my favourite birds.

GILL
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Old Saturday 19th March 2005, 19:29   #15
Edward woodwood
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what about the 'diagnostic' step wing markings though?

and the hind claw?

this is a photo of contradictions...

I too would leave it
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Old Saturday 19th March 2005, 19:30   #16
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Compare with these two Finnish Commons;
http://www.tarsiger.com/images/komi/...m_001_0719.jpg
http://www.tarsiger.com/images/masa/Cerfam01.jpg
I would say, it's still STT.
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Old Saturday 19th March 2005, 19:43   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Allwood
what about the 'diagnostic' step wing markings though?

and the hind claw?

this is a photo of contradictions...

I too would leave it
On the left-hand pic it does look more continuous, on the right broken..

I've blown the primaries right up on the right hand pic and think there must be a primary tip in shadow or something, since I can't see the bunched tips there should be before the gap that you get in Common Treecreeper.

Not engaged brain on the claw yet!
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Old Saturday 19th March 2005, 19:52   #18
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best plumage feature is the super and this does show quiet well on pic one

Common's is whiter and shows more prominently in front of eye than ST

this bird's is whiter than i would expect on a STT but is it also more prominent? You can see the super from other side of head in pic one too but they don't appear to join....which would be a diagnostic for Common

standard ref Harrap and Quinn states many are impossible in the field and some even in the hand.... what chance from a pic!
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Old Saturday 19th March 2005, 19:56   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nutcracker
Betula pubescens on the first pic, possibly Ulmus carpinifolia (not definite) on the second pic
<very old but what the hell - belongs in 'Ruffled Feathers - enjoy it while u can>

Two tall trees, a birch and a beech, are growing in a wood. A small tree begins to grow in between them, and the beech says to the birch, "Is that a son of a beech or a son of a birch?"

The birch says 'I dunno!'l. Just then a woodpecker lands on the sapling.

The birch says, "Woodpecker, you're a tree expert. Can you tell if that is a son of a beech or a son of a birch?"

The woodpecker takes a taste of the sap of the small tree and replies, "It is neither a son of a beech nor a son of a birch. It is, however, the best piece of ash I 've ever had."
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Old Sunday 20th March 2005, 08:14   #20
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Wouldn't want to make a definitive id on the basis of just a couple of pictures but the circumstantial evidence does point to Short-toed in my opinion. In fact all these features would indicate ST rather than Eurasian (or, to put it another way, don't suggest Eurasian):

1) Hindclaw quite short and appearing roughly equal in length to fore-claws (hindclaw usu. clearly longer on Eurasian). Hindclaw is also quite sharply curved; ST often shows shallower gradient.
2) Dusky, dirty-looking flanks and underparts and suggestion of contrasting whitish throat patch.
3) Supercilium v poorly marked in front of eye and falls short of bill base.
4) Long, rather decurved bill.
5) Appearance of pale drop-like spots (good for ST), rather than pale fringes (Eurasian) on the primaries.
6) Mantle looks more streaked than pale-spotted. Eurasian generally gives the reverse impression.
7) Alula on right wing looks as if it might well have a complete pale edge, though difficult to be 100% sure from photo.

In my experience, the wingband is an overrated feature since it varies with posture and apparently too at the individual level. I've seen photos of certain STs (in the hand) that appear to show a jump in the wingband. In any case, I think the wingband on this bird looks ok for ST.

As everyone has said, the call would be the clincher.

Best regards

Greg
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Old Sunday 20th March 2005, 10:18   #21
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To add to the general debate, I would largely agree with the others, and Greg puts a very succinct summary of the features.

In my opinion the only solid feature visible from the photo's is the primaries. Before I explain further, I think the lighting in both photo's (which I assume to be of the same bird, even though they look very different) shows how little use colour and shade are when i.d.ing from photos alone. That said, the flanks do show some buff on both photos.

There is little value here in colour, bill-length (to me, this is another very subjective feature, and can change appearance from different angles), or the step in the primaries (I agree with Greg on this feature - it does depend on the lie of the feathers). Hind claw - will bow to Greg's greater knowledge. Svensson gives only the formula >0.14 x bill + 5.6 = familiaris, with a < at the start for brachydactyla. Not much use here. The alula pattern, often a very good first feature to look for, is not clear.

That leaves us back at the primaries. The bird clearly (in the second photo) shows two closely-spaced primary tips, then a short gap (P10, 9 and 8), and these tips are clearly demarked, without the pale tip extending to the inner edge of these primaries. This is diagnostic of brachydactyla. An additional feature, perhaps not too clear here, is the presence or absence of a pale spot on P4, at the leading edge of the primaries in fornt of the "step". From this photo, the bird appears to lack this, thus again indicating brachydactyla.

Hope this helps

Sean
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Old Sunday 20th March 2005, 11:28   #22
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the pale bar on P4 is clearly visible on pic 2 Sean
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Old Sunday 20th March 2005, 19:57   #23
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I will keep it on a Short-toed Treecreeper.
I have listen to the song in (Bird Song) and then i say Short-toed Treecreeper.

Thanks all, for the ID and for the way to look for the difference.

Carola.
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Old Thursday 31st March 2005, 14:28   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghostly Vision
There is little value here in colour, bill-length (to me, this is another very subjective feature, and can change appearance from different angles),
Is there an actual overlap in length of the bill of these two species? Especially when considering the size as a fraction of the size of the head? Otherwise, I would say that a long bill can look short due to a head that is turned, while a short bill cannot look long.

No single feature should be taken as a clincher, but for a quick starting point, length of bill normally works for me. (I should say used to work, it has been a couple of years since I lived in Europe)

Niels
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Old Thursday 31st March 2005, 18:10   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by njlarsen
Is there an actual overlap in length of the bill of these two species? Especially when considering the size as a fraction of the size of the head? Otherwise, I would say that a long bill can look short due to a head that is turned, while a short bill cannot look long.

No single feature should be taken as a clincher, but for a quick starting point, length of bill normally works for me. (I should say used to work, it has been a couple of years since I lived in Europe)

Niels
According to the European Passerines by Svensson :

Treecreeper (Cer fam) :
Bill (skull): 13,9 - 21.2 (n = 354), nail of hind toe : (7,1) 7,6 - 11,5
nail of hind toe > 0,14 x bill + 5,6 = familiaris
subspecies: C.f. familiaris, macrodactyla, britannica, corsa, persica


Short-toed Treecreeper (Cer bra) :
Bill (skull): 15,3 - 23.0 (n = 240), nail of hind toe : (6,5) 6,8 - 8,9
nail of hind toe < 0,14 x bill + 5,6 = brachydactyla
subspecies: C.b. brachydactyla, macrorhyncha

So very difficult to use these characters otherwise than trend-setting !

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