- Wallcreeper
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Wallcreeper Tichodroma muraria

LC Least Concern
Guy M. Kirwan, Hans Löhrl, and Mike Wilson
Version: 1.0 — Published March 4, 2020

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Despite its very large but discontinuous range across the Palearctic, from northern Spain in the west, to China in the east, the long-billed, rock-climbing Wallcreeper is arguably one of the most visually stunning, and sought-after, birds in Eurasia. In summer, Wallcreepers are emblematic of wild, rocky, and montane habitats, and even in winter these obligate insectivores can persist at very high elevations in the Himalayas and in other mountain ranges. However, during the non-breeding season, across the majority of its distribution the species also descends to sometimes much lower ground, and also occupies areas rather far from the nesting grounds, provided suitable rocky or stony substrates to exploit for food exist. At such times, they also more regularly accept man-made structures, and Wallcreepers have been known to set up home for the winter in major European cities, being seemingly just as capable of eking out a life on a cathedral or other large building, as a rock face on a remote mountain. At all times of year, the species’ propensity to hop across horizontal or angled surfaces, constantly flicking the wings to reveal their breathtaking pattern of black, red, and white, draws the fortunate birder’s attention. Formerly placed in its own family, nowadays, this species is usually considered sufficiently close to the nuthatches (Sittidae) to be treated as a subfamily of the latter.

Distribution of the Wallcreeper
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  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding
Distribution of the Wallcreeper

Recommended Citation

Kirwan, G. M., H. Löhrl, and M. Wilson (2020). Wallcreeper (Tichodroma muraria), version 1.0. In Birds of the World (S. M. Billerman, B. K. Keeney, P. G. Rodewald, and T. S. Schulenberg, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.wallcr1.01