Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Jeepers! Creepers!

Last evening, a side trip to Cleveland, Ohio placed me on the lake side walk in Lakewood Park.  The temperature was an incredible 70 degrees.  Folks were out walking their dogs, playing soccer, and doing the things city people do in parks.  
Well camouflaged, Brown Creepers hug the bark of trees in search for insects.
My daughter and I were watching birds.  
Not just any bird, but Brown Creepers.  J.J. is not a birder, but she noticed the movement on a nearby tree, and then she laughed uncontrollably. "That bird just fell down!"

Ah, that would be a Brown Creeper.

Bird that mimics a falling leaf.
Creepers have a feeding style that sets them apart from others.  They creep up a tree, searching every nook and cranny for yummy insect morsels- eggs, or legged- it is all good.

And when they've reached the top of the tree, they flutter like a falling leaf, back to the ground.  The mimicry is quite stunning.  This bird searches for insects, crawling then falling, from tree to tree.

Lakewood shoreline boasts a view of Cleveland. 

Brown Creepers, Certhia americana are a great bird, and we love to find even one on a Christmas bird count.  They usually inhabit wet woods.  Although Lakewood Park has some trees, it hardly boast a woods where I would expect to find creepers. 

 But find Creepers, I did!  Five in all! 

This creeper was creatively using the breakwall.
These birds are in migration, headed home to Canada.  It is not unusual for numbers of them to "stack up" along the Lakeshore in the springtime.  They are waiting for a favorable wind for crossing the lake to their breeding grounds.

It was quite a pleasure to watch these birds ply their trade. Far better than the other two-legged  "creepers" one occasionally finds in our city parks!

Pulling a spider's web out of a crevasse.
Home wrecker!  This guy has developed a feeding pattern for the break-wall,

 it systematically searched for spider eggs hidden in the flawed concrete.

Jeepers Creepers!  This moment in nature is brought to you by the city of Lakewood. It was the best part of my day.

  • Kenn Kaufman and Greg Miller will keep you posted on the bird comings and goings in Ohio!

Two great sources for Ohio bird migration information are:
Birding Crane Creek
Greg Miller Birding

1 comment:

  1. Nice shots. I'm impressed Cheryl. I've been trying to get a good shot of these guys here in our yard for a week now. Just one would do. Just one. They're fast and I'm not. I'll have to snag you for a photo lesson at MWNP conference. (Looking forward to your talk on lawn alternatives.)

    And such interesting info about the bird.

    Good to see you at the Botanical Symposium. I was fearful it would be too technical for me. But they did just the right balance for me. And so entertaining.