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 Brown Creeper

Status in Michigan
Common Transient

Early Spring Date

Late Fall Date
Note: Early and Late Dates are being researched.
Image Credits
Count totals in the NMB Databases for Brown Creeper.

Use the links below to view the Brown Creeper reports in the respective databases.
If there are zero sightings for a particular season, that database will return no results.

Active Database - Spring 2005
View Brown Creeper sightings.
Brown Creeper Archives Reports
Fall 2003 45
Spring 2003 81
Winter 02-03 42
Fall 2002 47
Summer 2002 7
Spring 2002 111
Winter 01-02 40
Fall 2001 47
Summer 2001 10
Spring 2001 55
Winter 00-01 55
Fall 2000 30
Summer 2000 8
Spring 2000 52
Winter 00-99 65
Fall 1999 29
Spring/Summer 1999 10

NMB Database
Seasonal Percentage Graph
For: Brown Creeper

Whitefish Point Bird Observatory
Active Database - Fall 2003
View Fall 2003 sightings.
Whitefish Point Bird Observatory Official Seasonal Count Summaries for the Brown Creeper
Fall 1999-Spring 2002
Brown Creeper
Note: Some species will not be present in the WPBO archives and will return no records.

Search "The Birds of Michigan" text.

Home - Foreword - Preface - Introduction - Hypothetical List - Literature Cited

Historical Text
The Birds of Michigan - by: Norman A. Wood
Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan, No. 75

Certhia familiaris americana Bonaparte
Brown Creeper

Common transient. Summer resident south to Ottawa and Kent counties. Regular but not common winter resident.

First listed for Michigan by Sager (1839: 415).

SPRING.-Migrants are reported chiefly in the latter part of April and the first part of May.

Lower Peninsula.-L. W. Campbell (1940: 115, 205) gave April 24 as the average date for the end of main flight in the Toledo-Erie marsh area. About Detroit (Swales, 1904: 41; and notes) and apparently also in Berrien County (N. A. Wood, 1922: 33) the Brown Creeper usually remained until late April and at least occasionally until the middle of May; at Vicksburg, Kalamazoo County, no Creepers have been recorded by F. "W. Rapp (1931: 32) after May 6. At Sand Point, Huron County (D. W. Douglass), from 1931 to 1933, the species was common in migration from about April 10 to mid-May.

Upper Peninsula.-Christofferson has recorded a few Brown Creepers every spring at Blaney, Schoolcraft County, during the last 3 weeks of April (2 seen on April 12, 1938; 1 on April 30, 2023). Bryens, at McMillan, Luce County, has noted 1 to 3 birds in a day and has recorded arrival usually in mid-April and once as early as March 17 (1 seen in 1933). S. S. Gregory, Jr., collected a specimen in the Huron Mountain region, Marquette County, on March 16, 1928. N. A. Wood (1933: 731) noted the species' arrival at Copper Harbor, Keweenaw County, on April 23, 1931; Laurence Dayton recorded it almost daily on Isle Royale in 1937 between April 12 and May 15.

SUMMER.-Eggs of the Brown Creeper have been found in June, but there are few definite nest records from Michigan.

Lower Peninsula.-According to A. J. Cook (1893o: 145), Jerome Trombley stated that the Brown Creeper bred in Monroe County; Barrows (1912: 681-83) said that W. A. Gunn found a pair building a nest in Ottawa County on May 19, 1879, and that Owen Durfee found the species breeding near Grand Rapids. F. A. Stuart (1919: 94-95) observed a pair in a nest box on June 13, 1916, in Eckford Township, Calhoun County, and both Barrows (1912: 681-83) and Gibbs (1885: 7) indicated that the Brown Creeper had been found a few times in other southern counties. One bird was seen in Hartland Township, Livingston County, by A. D. Tinker, R. E. Olsen, and H. A. Olsen on July 13,1930; 1 was seen on July 30 and 1 on August 6,1908, in northwestern Huron County by N. A. Wood and Gaige (1911: 305-6); N. A. Wood collected 1 (U.M.M.Z.) in Oscoda County on July 2, 1903. In the vicinity of Douglas Lake, Cheboygan County, N. A. Wood, Smith, and Gates (1916: 20) recorded it on 3 occasions in late July, 1911, and Blanchard and Nelson (MS of 1937) stated that it had been "re- ported a few times."

Upper Peninsula.-At Whitefish Point, Chippewa County, N. A. Wood (1914: 72) collected a nest and 4 eggs (U.M.M.Z.) June 5, 1914. T. D. Hinshaw collected 2 specimens (U.M.M.Z.) on Drummond Island, Chippewa County, on July 2, 1938, and at Munuscong Bay in the same county, Trautman saw 2 adults and 4 young on June 27, 1926. Bryens saw 1 at McMillan, Luce County, on July 28, 1934, and Leonard Wing (1940: 186) saw the species in the northern part of the county on June 26 to 28, 1932. Christy (1925: 216) and S. S. Gregory, Jr. (1929: 187), listed the species as rather uncommon in the Huron Mountain region, Marquette County; Gaige (1914: 90) saw it but "rarely" in Dickinson County between July 10 and August 9, 1909; and Max M. Peet collected 3 specimens (U.M.M.Z.) in the Porcupine Mountains, Ontonagon County, in mid-July, 1904 (N. A. Wood, Peet, and McCreary, 1906: 120). Leonard Wing (1940: 186) re- corded the Brown Creeper from Ironwood, Gogebic County, between July 13 and 25, 1932, and a few birds were noted in late summer (1904 and 1905) on Isle Royale (Max M. Peet, 1909: 381).

FALL.-Among the various records at hand for this season there are only a few that seem to be particularly indicative of the southward movement, �which may occur principally from about mid-September to mid-October or later. On Charity Island, Huron County (N. A. Wood, 1911: 110), only a few birds were seen in the first part of September, and as many as 20 on September 26. In the Ann Arbor and Detroit (Swales, 1904: 41; and notes) areas the species has reappeared in fall from the second and third weeks of September to early October. A flock containing some 15 to 30 birds was observed by F. M. Gaige at Manchester, Washtenaw County, on October 26, 1926. For the Toledo-Erie marsh region, L. W. Campbell (1940: 115, 205) gave October 11 as the average date for the beginning of the main flight.

WINTER.-At this season the Brown Creeper apparently occurs in all areas of Michigan. On Isle Royale during the winter of 1936-37 Laurence Dayton saw an individual on December 30. Leonard Wing (1940: 186-87) recorded it at Ironwood, Gogebic County, and at McMillan, Luce County; Bryens and Fritz (1932: 59; 1933: 39) noted it at McMillan. Christofferson and Magee have found it at several localities in the eastern end of the peninsula.

Lower Peninsula.-Frederick M. Baumgartner wrote (February, 1938) that he had noted the species "at all seasons in a few of the dense cedar and balsam swamps in and near the Pigeon River [State] Forest," Cheboygan and Otsego counties. Gibbs (1885: 7; 1889: 188; U.M.M.Z.) often found it all winter in Kalamazoo County, even in "severest weather." Other reports indicate that it occurs regularly in small numbers throughout southern counties.

Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan, No. 75
The Birds of Michigan
By: Norman A. Wood
University of Michigan Press
August 28, 2023

Digitized by: Keith F. Saylor
[email protected]

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