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Treecreeper (Certhia familiaris)

This small mottled brown bird is often seen, as its name suggests, creeping up trees.

Common name: treecreeper

Scientific name: Certhia familiaris

Family: Certhidae (treecreepers)


Head: mottled brown head with a white stripe above its eye. The bill is a distinctive characteristic of this species and is long, thin and curves downwards. 

Wings: mottled brown in colour, with a yellow-brown wing-bar.

Body: the body of this bird is brown with light streaks and the underparts are white. 

Where to spot

Throughout the UK, apart from a few areas of Scotland. Found in woodland, both deciduous and coniferous, and is often spotted moving up tree trunks.


Mainly insects, such as earwigs, but may also eat seeds during the winter months.


Breeding begins in April, and a clutch of five to six eggs are laid. The nest is constructed with spiders’ webs, grass, moss and feathers, in hollows, such as behind partially attached tree bark. Chicks fledge at around 15 days old.


  • This species is characterised by its motion up tree trunks but it does not move down the trunk, unlike the nuthatch.
  • Its song has a warbling effect to it, but the treecreeper will finish singing in April.
  • Treecreepers have an average lifespan of around two years.