You’d never even know he was there: feeding high up in the trees, perfectly camouflaged, and only about 4” long, the Brown Creeper (Certhia Americana) is rarely on the ground and lives in relative obscurity from most New Yorkers.
So it was somewhat of a surprise for a passerby to come across this tiny bird lying on the sidewalk in Midtown Manhattan. The Creeper had left the safety of his forest habitat, where he “creeps” up trees in a spiraling motion looking for hidden insects, and had collided with a glass building.
Because his feet are so well suited for hanging on trees, his cage at the Wild Bird Fund was lined with a drape, so he could hang comfortably and avoid touching the ground. Once Creepers have found a safe place to hold on to, they are hesitant to leave it: one Creeper was even brought in clinging to the front of a woman’s business suit. He had landed on her lapel and had rode along for two hours while she researched where to take him.
Our little patient had thankfully not sustained any breaks from his collision, and after some cage-rest to monitor his condition and exercise in the flyway he was ready for release into a wooded area of Central Park.
He sat for a few seconds after we opened the carrier, eyeing his surroundings, and then flew right to the biggest, tallest tree he could find. We watched as he crept up, higher and higher, until we could no longer make him out from the background of the tree.