Sunday, 15 January 2012

White-throated treecreeper


White-throated treecreepers (Cormobates leucophaea) are common here. They often travel in pairs, flying from tree to tree, working their way up the trunks as they hunt for ants and other insects.


One of their regular spots is a tree about four metres from the kitchen door. They drop in just before dusk, when the light has faded and it is almost impossible to get a good handheld shot with the long lens.Most of the time I don't even try to take a photo and am content to watch the birds go about their business. Sometimes, I give it a go and nearly succeed.

John Gould recorded that "[w]hile traversing the trunks in search of insects, which it does with great facility, it utters a shrill piping cry'. This call reminded him of the European Climacteris treecreepers (to which it is related), as did the way in which it ascended the "upright trunks of the trees, commencing at the bottom and gradually creeping up to the bole at the top, generally in a spiral direction."

You can listen to the call of the white-throated treecreeper here. My birds are less voluble than Gould's birds. I hardly ever hear them. Perhaps they don't like to talk with their beaks full of food?

4 comments:

laurak@forestwalkart said...

your treecreeper must have learned well from his mother...don't talk with your mouth full.

it's always pretty cool...a nice surprise, when you're able to snap a picture of something you usually can't get...

the big Pileated woodpecker we have here also makes a distinctive sound as it descends the tree. in fact the ONLY time we hear them is when they are doing just that.

Snail said...

The treecreepers here are very well-mannered! I will stake out the tree to get a pic of the female, which has orange cheek spots. (It's impolite to mention it but they look like badly applied stage makeup and give her the appearance of a pantomime dame.)

What sort of noise does the woodpecker make? It doesn't sound like Woody Woodpecker, does it?

laurak@forestwalkart said...

hmmmm, maybe the treecreepers in your area aren't really being polite so much as they prefer mime to speaking. maybe you can test this out. sign language. don't forget your own face make up though...

here's the sound of the Pileated:http://www.nenature.com/PileatedWoodpecker.htm

Snail said...

Thanks, Laura. So not at all like Woody Woodpecker! But still quite distinctive.