Trepadeira-comum © Diogo Oliveira

Sort-toed Treecreeper

Certhia brachydactyla

The Short-toed Treecreeper is a resident species in our fauna, with a wide distribution in the mainland. It occurs in a variety of wooded habitats as forests, olive groves and urban parks. It feeds on insects and arachnids that captures in the cracks of trunks and branches of trees, thanks to its curved, long beak. This is also one of the details of its unique morphology which gives it perfect skills to search for food, and its cryptic plumage helps it to go unnoticed when moving along the trunks.

The scientific name of the Short-toed Treecreeper has this meaning: Certhia comes from the Greek word kerthios, mentioned by Aristotle as a small insectivorous bird that lives in the trees; brachydactyla originates from the Greek term brachudaktulos meaning “little finger” (brachus – small, daktulos – toe), alluding to one of the anatomical features of the species.

The Short-toed Treecreeper’s singing can be heard throughout the year, although most frequently during the breeding season.

Text: João E. Rabaça

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