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Monday, April 11, 2011
Creepers Creeping at Nature Boardwalk
Brown creepers are small birds with long tails that creep up tree trunks when foraging. We’ve been seeing these birds at Nature Boardwalk the last few days, scaling some of the larger trees at the site, spiraling upward.
When they do this, they are looking in the crevices and under the bark for any insects or larva they might be able to pry out and eat. They have a slightly curved beak that helps them pry out the little morsels.
Here’s a bird-watching tip related to brown creepers: In our area, creepers might easily be confused with nuthatches, as the two types of birds use similar foraging techniques. However, creepers typically travel facing upward along the side of the tree, where nuthatches typically face downward and move sideways or down the tree trunk as they forage.
To avoid confusion, I just remember that C (for creeper) is above N (for nuthatch) in the alphabet, so creepers go up. And of course, it helps that the name makes sense: creepers creep!
Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo
By transforming the South Pond into Nature Boardwalk, Lincoln Park Zoo has created an urban ecosystem in the heart of the city. Enjoy a virtual view as native plants and animals establish themselves in this rare refuge.
As Lincoln Park Zoo’s director of horticulture, Brian oversees the zoo’s gardens, from bud to bloom.
As coordinator of wildlife management, Mason chronicles the bugs, birds, fish, insects, mammals and more that make their homes at Nature Boardwalk.
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