Now, to get back to the title of this post.......
This afternoon, I headed down to my sissy's to dig a hole in her front yard so she can get her new purple martin house put up, because they've finally made it back to Minnesota from Brazil! It was fun listening to a few martins flying overhead for distraction while I was trying to dig a 26" deep hole through the limestone buried under her front lawn. While I was digging, my niece was keeping me company outside and she happened to find this little birdie in the flower bed--an apparent casualty of a collision with the front window. As soon as she handed it to me, I knew it was a Brown Creeper.
I was saddened to know that this poor little bird's life had ended, but at the same time, it was quite amazing to hold this tiny creature in my hand and examine it a bit more closely. They're so well-adapted for survival in the wild. Look at this skinny, curved beak--a perfect tool that enables them to search in deep crevices of tree bark to locate a tasty insect or grub for nourishment.
Look at this bird's incredible feet--especially the huge hind toe claw! Perfect for gripping bark and "creeping" up the trunk of a tree in search of food.
I wish you could have felt how stiff and bristly its tail feather were. These stiff tail feathers also help to hold the brown creeper in place as it finds and extracts its food from tree bark crevices.
Its feathers were quite beautiful--even for a little brown and white bird. Look at the lovely markings on its wing feathers. I've only seen a Brown Creeper flying once and it was so fast I didn't even get a chance to notice its wings.
I was sorry this little bird had to die and I hope you don't think I'm exploiting the situation by showing these pictures in my blog. Even though it was dead, I felt honored to be able to hold such a tiny creature in my hand and be able to see up close the physical adaptations that enable this bird to live in the wild.