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Brown Creeper

“Searching is half the fun: life is much more manageable when thought of as a scavenger hunt as opposed to a surprise party.” — Jimmy Buffett

The Nemesis Bird

Brown creeper — Wikimedia photo

Two blocks from my oldest daughter’s home, in a crowded residential neighborhood near Dallas, I finally saw a brown creeper, a bird that can be seen in all 49 North American states and Canada. But it had eluded me for five years of seriously looking for it in all the right habitats.

There were even several times during those five years when I was with other birders who would call out: “Brown creeper, here!” But the darn little creeper was always gone before I got a look.  It had become my nemesis bird.

The one I finally saw on a winter day in 2005, however, made up for all my efforts to see it. Here’s how I described the event in my journal.

Dainty and delicately patterned to match the bark of the tree, the creeper was spiraling upward around the trunk of an old oak … Two more times, this little tree climber circled the trunk, always in an upward motion. … it then flew to the bottom of a second tree about four feet away, and began spiraling upward once again, its actions perfectly matching a description of its behavior in my field guide.

The creeper was using its thin, down-curved bill to dig out tiny insects in the trunk’s crevices. So well camouflaged was the bird that my eyes were sometimes fooled into thinking I was simply looking at tree bark. But when I did see the creeper, I was amazed at the crisp look of the bird’s brown and white feathers, which seemed to sparkle when the sun briefly flashed on them.”

I’m glad I took time to write down my observations, because the brown creeper I saw that day is still the only one I have ever seen.

I guess you could still call it my nemesis bird.

Bean Pat: Blogging at the Holler’s for the birds. https://cindyknoke.com/2018/03/07/blogging-at-the-hollers-for-the-birds/?wref=pil

Pat Bean is a Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder. Her book, Travels with Maggie, is now up on Amazon at http://tinyurl.com/y8z7553y  Currently, she is writing a book, tentatively titled Bird Droppings, which is about her late-bloomer birding adventures. You can contact her at patbean@msn.com

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