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Monday, December 29, 2014

Creeping up 4th Street

On 27 December 2014, we were running an errand on 4th Street in downtown Santa Rosa.  I heard a familiar bird sound, but based on where we were (a city street) and the type of bird I thought it was (a woodland species), I wondered if I had identified the sound correctly.

I looked around to find the source and sure enough, there it was, among the holiday lights on a tree along the sidewalk:

I ran back to the car to get my camera and then walked over to take a few pictures: 

It brightened my day to see a Brown Creeper in such an unexpected location.  There were a few redwoods nearby, so perhaps creepers show up here occasionally.  I don't spend enough time on 4th Street to know, but if you've seen creepers there, I'd love to hear about your observations.

Here's one more of the creeper probing deeply into the bark of the tree:

We debated about a title for this post.  An alternative was "Street Creeper" which we liked because it reminded us of "street sweeper," but I worried that it sounded, well, creepy.  Perhaps you can come up with an interesting title of your own?  

And no matter which title you prefer, I hope you can appreciate the wonder of seeing a Brown Creeper at eye-level working its way up the holiday-decorated trees on a busy city street!


meatcutter said...

I like Vermiculated Woodsprite as an alternate name for this bird. The Creeper is good also, dropping the brown and capitalizing both words.
They make wonderful nests! Try and find one this spring and you won't be disappointed!

Jackie Sones said...

I did a quick search for "woodsprite" and found this on Wikipedia. I'm including it because the description seems like a good match for a creeper!

"The Wood-Sprite" is a story by Vladimir Nabokov, originally published in Russian in 1921. It was his first published story.

The story is told in first-person narration and recounts the narrator's experience when he was visited, at his desk, by a "hunched, gray" wood-sprite, "powdered with the pollen of the frosty, starry night."

The creature tells of his own exile from Russia and the hardships he has endured as a result. After a candle blows out, the narrator turns on the light only to be left alone with a "subtle scent in the room, of birch, of humid moss..."

meatcutter said...

wow thats wild. haven't read that nabokov story but i love his stuff.
he was a great lepidopterist, don't know if your hip to that or not. he did a lot of work with The Blues and there's a couple of books about his work with them. also, he's always got butterflys flitting around in his novels.

meatcutter said...

here's another little gem from Tyler 1948(??)
“The brown creeper, as he hitches along the bole of a tree, looks like a fragment of detached bark that is defying the law of gravitation by moving upward over the trunk, and as he flies off to another tree he resembles a little dry leaf blown about by the wind.”