Birds in bird baths - White-throated Treecreeper

To: birding-aus <>
Subject: Birds in bird baths - White-throated Treecreeper
From: jilldening <>
Date: Tue, 11 Feb 2003 12:11:16 +1000
Hi Everyone,

There was a thread a while back about birds in bird baths, and I thought of
this on Sunday evening at the home of Bob James and Karyll Butler. We were
having a drink on their deck, and watching birds come in for their last
drink of the day too.

Bob called our attention to a bird which had landed on the bath.
"OK, Jill & James, what's that bird?" I knew it had to be a trick question
coming from Bob.

The bird was wet by the time I had it in view, facing me, backing into the
water - yes, backing! I looked at it, stunned and confused. The view was
made more difficult by the fact that we were gazing downwards and across,
perhaps 15 metres to the bath. I felt as though I had never seen the species
before, and yet I should know all the species in the area. It was only there
very briefly.

I failed miserably. It was a White-throated Treecreeper, and they don't go
head first into bird baths - they go backwards. Bob, who has seen this
countless times, thought it was a great hoot catching us out, but it was a
wonderful lesson for us. One is so used to identifying a treecreeper by what
it does, and then when it does something you don't expect, you're all at
sea. Well, I was. A wet treecreeper backing into a bird bath does not look
like a treecreeper going up the side of a tree.



Jill Dening
Sunshine Coast, Qld
26º 51'     152º 56'
Ph (07) 5494 0994

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