Thursday, 29 November 2012

Treecreepers Exposed

The leaves are now definitely gone from all the trees here, and autumn is slipping into winter. Much of our wildlife has left to go warmer places, though some birds from the arctic have arrived too. The treecreeper is here all year round. It's an insect feeder and so struggles to find food in the winter. Its favourite feeding technique is to fly to the bottom of a tree and then slowly spiral its way up the tree trunk looking for insects in all the crevices and nooks in the bark.

Lime tree avenue to Blair Castle. Planted in 1737.

A closer look at one of the lime trees. Lots of crevices and
hollows where insect food might be hiding

The lime trees on the Castle drive are full of wee nooks and crannies, and now with the leaves gone, treecreepers are regularly seen foraging here.

photo credit - Pawel Kuzniar

A close look shows you its curved bill - great for plucking insects out, and stiff tail used for balance. Many of the insects it finds at this time of year will be hibernating, tucked away in holes and hollows. If it can't find enough insects it has to resort to eating seeds, but these are not nearly as nutritious.

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