|A LITTLE mite of a bird is this pretty creature, which many observers claim is seldom seen, or, indeed, is known to few besides the special student of ornithology and the collector. We venture to assert that any one with fairly good eyes can see it almost any day creeping over the timber in search of its insect food. Besides seeing it in the deepest woods, we often notice it in the open places in parks, and in gardens and orchards it is quite common. It commences operations at the foot of a tree, and travels upwards in short stages, now stopping to pick out an insect lurking in the crevices of the bark with its long, slender bill, or returning head downwards to pounce on an unwary fly. Up again it creeps, more like a mouse than a bird, occasionally uttering a low and plaintive note; right to the top of the tree it mounts, exploring every nook and cranny likely to reward its search as it goes. Now it creeps on the under side of a projecting limb, then again on the top, and although it will explore an entire tree, still it but rarely uses its wings to convey it from one part to another. You will also find that it, like the Woodpecker, endeavors to be on the opposite side to you, and carry on its explorations unseen. Curiosity, however, often seems to get the better of the Creeper, and you will see its light colored breast and sharp little head peep trustfully at you and again vanish from sight.||The
Creeper is admirably adapted to its ways of life. Its
bill is formed for obtaining its insect food, and its
tail supports it while climbing.
The Brown Creeper nests in early summer, when insect life is most abundant, and, like the Woodpecker, prefers a hole for the purpose. This it lines with dry grass, moss and feathers, and makes a very warm and comfortable home. The eggs are from five to eight, white, spotted and speckled with red. The Creeper is not migratory, and we see it in the woods throughout the year. It is hardy and lives sumptuously the winter through. One who was very fond of the little creatures said: If the Swallow were to visit us at this time, it would undoubtedly perish, for the air in winter is almost clear of insect life; but the little Creeper can live in ease when the sun is at Capricorn, just because he can climb so dexterously, for the bark of trees abounds with insects, and more particularly their eggs and larvae, which lie there torpid until called into life by the genial presence of the vernal sun.