Sunday, 2 February 2020

White-throated Treecreeper



It's extraordinary to think that the White-throated Treecreeper Cormobates leucophaea, that lives in the eastern forests of Australia, is unrelated to the Northern Hemisphere treecreepers. Any birdwatcher spotting one of these, no matter where they were from, would immediately say 'treecreeper'!


These little brown birds like trees with rough bark, such as the River She-Oak Casuarina cunninghamiana we photographed them on at Uriarra Crossing, a popular picnic and wild swimming spot near Canberra. They have the most remarkable long toes which stick out at all angles and grip on to the tree. Up they hop, circling the trunk and poking into crevices, on the hunt for ants, their preferred food.


6 comments:

chm said...

Are they in danger because of those terrible fires in Australia?

Susan said...

I should imagine a very large swathe of their habitat has burnt. I guess there will be pockets where they survive though.

Le Pré de la Forge said...

Obviously a "horses for courses" evolutionary example.... but, can they only go up?

Susan said...

Yes, I think they can only go up, and Sitellas are the ones who can come down as well (they are the Aussie version of the nuthatch).

Le Pré de la Forge said...

Sitelle is French for Nuthatch.... actually, the treecreeper [our Short-toed one anyway], can descend by going sideways, getting lower as it does so.... that is by observation of the ones here.... no idea if the UK treecreeper can, its back toe is at least twice as long.

Susan said...

The Australian one (this species at any rate) seems to have the very long toe for sticking out sideways, at right angles, so maybe that adds agility. I don't know.

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