CER TH1 A, Lin &C. CREEPER Bill long. or of moderate size, more or less arched, triangular, compressed, and slender ; nostrils basal, na ked, pierced horizontally. and half closed by an arched membrane ; the outer toe united at its base to the interme diate ; claws much hooked, that on the hind toe the long est; tail graduated, and furnished with stiff and sharp point ed shafts ; wings middle-sized, the fourth quill the longest.
The birds of this genus climb on trees like the wood peckers, supporting themselves by the stiff-pointed fea thers of the tail. They nestle in the chinks and holes of trees, and live principally on small insects and seeds. The limits of the genus have of late been considerably abridged. Only one species is indigenous to Europe ; for the alleged Bro ch!.dacyta of M. Brehon, of Saxony, proves to be only one of those accidental varieties, which, in this instance, are considerably multiplied. But the sexes and the young are less dissimilar from one another than in most species of the feathered race.
C. Lin. &c Common Creeper Prov. Ox eve Creeper, or Tree Creeper, or Tree Climber. ricd with black and whitish above, white beneath ; tail sub-fulvous, and pointed. The weight of the full grown bird is only about two drachms, and its length five inches. Except the crested wren, it is the smallest of British birds ; but the length of its feathers, and its manner of ruffling them, make it appear larger than it is in reality.
The common creeper inhabits Europe Asia, and North America, especially the neighbourhood of Philadelphia, where it is very common. It runs with great quickness
and facility round trunks and limbs of trees in search of insects and their eggs, which it also picks up from among moss, and which constitute its principal food. Though pretty common, it is not readily perceived, from the ease with which. on the appearance of any person, it glide' to the opposite side of the tree. Its nest is composed of dry grass and the inner bark of wood, loosely put together, and lined with small leathers ; and it is usually placed in some hole, or behind the bark of a decayed tree. The eggs are from six to eight, whitish, or ash-coloured, and minutely speckled with bars and spots of bright rust co lour. During incubation the male caters for his partner. I-I note is weak, monotonnus, and delicately uttered, but rarely heard in winter. This tittle bird seems to be not averse to the society of mankind ; for it haunts trees on public walks near towns ; and in some parts of the world it is protected by human care, from motives of in terest Thus, from observing its usefulness in destroying insects, it has tong been customary, in several districts of the United States, to fix a small box at the end of a long pole in gardens and about houses, as a receptacle for its nest. In these boxes the birds readily form their nests, and hatch their young, which the parent feeds with a va riety of different insects, particularly those species which. are injurious to the produce of the garden.