Certhia brachydactyla - Grimpereau des jardins
- Size: 12 cm
- Wingspan: -
- Weight: 8 à 12 g
Small birds, called treecreepers, have adapted very well to living in the trees, and more specifically on the bark. They move a bit like woodpeckers, up and down tree trunks and branches, using their tails to help them keep their balance. Their upper parts are very similar to the colour of tree bark - usually a medium brown, with markings of buckskin and dark brown. In Europe, there are two closely related species of treecreepers who co-exist. They are very similar in appearance and identification can be difficult. The best way to tell them apart is by their call (discussed in the next section). Another way is to look at the colour of their flanks, which are reddish-brown to grey-brown in the Short-toed Treecreeper and whitish to very faintly reddish in the Woodcreepers. The other, less obivous distinctions between the two species are the length of their beaks and the digiting on the hind toe. In the Short-toed Treecreeper, the beak is considered to be long while the claw is short, equal to or shorter than the toe. In the Woodcreepers, however, it is the opposite: the beak appears to be short while the claw is longer than the toe. This is easier to identify on photos. Finally, there are irrefutable wing pallet characters, but they require good profile photos or rear quarter views. Detailing them here would be tedious and probably incomprehensible. Please refer to the photos in the galleries to compare them.
Subspecific information 5 subspecies
- Certhia brachydactyla brachydactyla (s, c and se Europe from se Spain to Turkey)
- Certhia brachydactyla megarhynchos (w Europe from Portugal and nw Spain to w, n France and w Germany)
- Certhia brachydactyla mauritanica (nw Africa)
- Certhia brachydactyla dorotheae (s Greece, Crete and Cyprus)
- Certhia brachydactyla rossocaucasica (nw Caucasus)
- Grimpereau des jardins,
- Agateador europeo,
- rövidkarmú fakusz,
- Rampichino comune,
- kôrovník krátkoprstý,
- šoupálek krátkoprstý,
- Korttået Træløber / Parktræløber,
- raspinell comú,
- pełzacz ogrodowy,
- īspirkstu mizložņa,
- kratkoprsti plezalček,
- Короткопалая пищуха,
Voice song and cries
The song of the Short-toed Treecreeper is a brief (a little more than a second) stereotyped, sonorous and clear ritornello, that can be written as tit tit tiTuiutit. The call has the same tone of the song. It is a accented tjit repeated several times. We also hear siiih incisive when they move, that must not be confused with the finer and more incisive siiiiiih of the Short-toed Treecreeper. Finally we can note some tititi uttered on occasion as discreet contact cries.
The Short-toed Treecreeper is originally a woodland bird associated with the deciduous lower altitude facies, particularly the old oaks.
Behaviour character trait
Short-toed Treecreepers are incredibly adapted to an exclusively arboreal lifestyle. They are the color of the bark they reside on, making them virtually invisible when not moving.
Short-toed Treecreepers have short, wide wings which allow them great agility in a wooded environment. Their flight from one tree to the next is direct and undulating with a deceleration upon arrival followed by a settlement.
Short-toed Treecreepers search for their food on tree trunks and branches, carefully inspecting the bark and epiphytes for invertebrates and their resistant forms, all year round since they are sedentary. Their slender and curved beaks are not suitable for working the substrate but only for fitting into cracks in search of prey. These prey are mostly insects and spiders as well as the resistant forms of the former, eggs, larvae and pupae.
The breeding season stretches from March to July, with of course an offset depending on the latitude and altitude.
The distribution area of the Short-toed Treecreeper extends over mainland Europe from the Atlantic to Poland, Ukraine, the shores of the Black Sea and Turkey. To the north, it is absent from the British Isles and the Scandinavian Peninsula. To the south, it occupies the reliefs of the extreme north of Africa. It is absent from the western Mediterranean islands, but not the eastern ones. The most eastern birds are in the Caucasus.
Threats - protection
IUCN conservation status
in the Wild
The Short-toed Treecreeper is generally a common species, therefore it is not threatened at present. However, it is locally rare in places such as the Caucasus. The species could suffer from deforestation due to climate change which directly affects the trees, such as summer droughts, and also from pests like the oak processionary moth which weaken already struggling trees. The risk is therefore the sanitary cut which abruptly deprives the treecreeper of its habitat.
Sources of information
- IOC World Bird List (v13.1), Gill, F and D Donsker (Eds). 2023.
- Les passereaux d'Europe, tome 2, P. Géroudet, M. Cuisin
- Birds of the World, The Cornell Lab of Ornithology
- xeno-canto, Sharing bird sounds from around the world,
Translation by AI Oiseaux.net
published: 17-11-2020 - Updated: 17-11-2020
© 1996-2023 Oiseaux.net