Today I learn that the song of the Creeper is weak, colorless and sibilant. That it consists of 4-8 notes, generally beginning with a long high-pitched note, followed by two short lower-pitched ones. The remaining notes vary somewhat, but are often a repitition of the first notes.
A common call note is a long, high-pitched “shreeeeee” with a rolling r-sound throughout. The bird also calls a rather faint ‘tsit’ over and over. These latter notes maya be heard at any season.
I also learn that the bird is easily identified by its habit have creeping continually up the rough bark of a tree in a spiral, then flying to the base of another tree to begin again.
I read nesting notes written by a W. C. Bradbury in 1918 (thanks to the folks at internetarchive.org) describing a foray in Gilpin County while on a White-tailed Ptarmigan and Brown-Capped Rosy Finch nest seeking mission. Their trip had the happy result of taking the first set of eggs of the Rocky Mountain Creeper taken in Colorado.
Armed with the vision of a small brown bird diving at the base of tree trunks, I begin to build an environment for the Creeper on a stick I have in my collection. I decide on a small shadow box.
I can’t decide which side of my creeper I want all to see, a mirror box helps resolve that questions.
I am charmed by Bradbury’s 1918 anecdote so decide to include it in the box.
Conveying the feeling of lightness that birds so well express, is one thing I strive for.
Here we go – all assembled, but hard to photograph with so many layers of reflective surfaces.