Wallcreeper

The wallcreeper (Tichodroma muraria) is a small passerine bird found throughout the high mountains of Eurasia from southern Europe to central China. It is the only extant member of both the genus Tichodroma and the family Tichodromidae.

Wallcreeper
Tichodroma muraria - Tarn
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Tichodromidae
Swainson, 1827
Genus: Tichodroma
Illiger, 1811
Species:
T. muraria
Binomial name
Tichodroma muraria
(Linnaeus, 1766)
Mauerläufer1
Synonyms
  • Certhia muraria Linnaeus, 1766

Taxonomy and systematics

There is some disagreement among ornithologists as to where the wallcreeper belongs in the taxonomic order. Initially, Linnaeus placed it in the family Certhiidae, along with the treecreepers.[2] The wallcreeper is placed in a monotypic family Tichodromadidae by, amongst others, Clements 2007, while other authorities such as Dickinson 2003 put it in the monotypic Tichodromadinae, a subfamily of the nuthatch family Sittidae. In either case, it is very closely related to the nuthatches. A 2016 phylogenetic study of members in the superfamily Certhioidea suggests it is a sister of the Sittidae.[3] At least one other species of wallcreeper is known from the fossil record, Tichodroma capeki (Late Miocene of Polgardi, Hungary) [4]

The genus name Tichodroma comes from the Ancient Greek teikhos "wall", and dromos "runner". The specific muraria is Medieval Latin for "of walls", from Latin murus, "wall".[5] Alternatively, the wallcreeper is named the red-winged wall creeper.[6]

Subspecies

Two subspecies are recognized:[7]

  • European wallcreeper (T. m. muraria) - (Linnaeus, 1766): Found from southern and eastern Europe to the Caucasus and western Iran
  • T. m. nepalensis - Bonaparte, 1850: Originally described as a separate species. Found from Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and eastern Iran to eastern China

Description

The wallcreeper is a 15.5–17-centimetre (6.1–6.7 in) long bird, with a mass of 17–19 grams (0.60–0.67 oz). Its plumage is primarily blue-grey, with darker flight and tail feathers. Its most striking plumage feature, though, are its extraordinary crimson wings. Largely hidden when the wings are folded, this bright colouring covers most of the covert feathers, and the basal half of the primaries and secondaries. The subspecies T. m. nepalensis is slightly darker than the nominate race.

Vocalizations

Though largely silent, both male and female wallcreepers sing, the females generally only while defending feeding territories in the winter.[8] The song is a high-pitched, drawn-out whistle, with notes that alternately rise and fall.[9] During the breeding season, the male sings while perched or climbing.

Distribution and habitat

Tichodroma muraria - Aragon
The wallcreeper lives in alpine areas

A bird of the high mountains, the wallcreeper breeds at elevations ranging between 1,000 and 3,000 metres (3,300 and 9,800 ft).[9] It is largely resident across its range, but is known to move to lower elevations in winter, when it is occasionally found on buildings and in quarries. Birds have wintered as far afield as England and the Netherlands, where one spent two consecutive winters between 1989 and 1991 at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam.[10] The species is resident across much of the Himalayas, ranging across India, Nepal, Bhutan and parts of Tibet and also as a winter-visitor in Bangladesh.[11][12]

Behaviour and ecology

This species can be quite tame, but is often surprisingly difficult to see on mountain faces. While it may be confiding in the breeding and non-breeding seasons, and vagrant birds especially are extremely tame, they will still hide when they are aware of being watched, and will hesitate before entering the nest and even take roundabout routes towards the nest during prolonged observations.[13]

Wallcreepers are territorial, and pairs vigorously defend their breeding territory during the summer. During the winter the wallcreeper is solitary, with males and females defending individual feeding territories. The size of these feeding territories is hard to estimate but may comprise a single large quarry or rock massif; or, alternatively, a series of smaller quarries and rock faces. Wallcreepers may travel some distances from roosting sites to feeding territories. They have also been demonstrated showing site fidelity to winter feeding territories in consecutive years.[13]

Breeding

The female wallcreeper builds a cup nest of grass and moss, sheltered deep in a rock crevice, hole or cave.[8] The nest is lined with softer materials, often including feathers or wool,[2] and typically has two entrances. The female usually lays 4–5 eggs, though clutches as small as three have been found. The white eggs measure 21 mm long, and are marked with a small number of black or reddish-brown speckles. Once her entire clutch has been laid, the female incubates the eggs for 19–20 days, until they hatch. During incubation, she is regularly fed by her mate.[2] Young are altricial, which means they are blind, featherless and helpless at birth. Both parents feed the nestlings for a period of 28–30 days, until the young birds fledge. Each pair raises a single brood a year.

Feeding

The wallcreeper is an insectivore, feeding on terrestrial invertebrates—primarily insects and spiders—gleaned from rock faces.[8] It sometimes also chases flying insects in short sallies from a rock wall perch. Feeding birds move across a cliff face in short flights and quick hops, often with their wings partially spread.

References

  1. ^ BirdLife International (2016). "Tichodroma muraria". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2016: e.T22711234A87830588. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T22711234A87830588.en. Retrieved 15 January 2018.
  2. ^ a b c Campbell, Bruce; Elizabeth Lack. A Dictionary of Birds. Calton: T & A D Poyser. pp. 638–39. ISBN 0-85661-039-9.
  3. ^ Zhao, Min; Alström, Per; Olsson, Urban; Qu, Yanhua; Lei, Fumin (2016). "Phylogenetic position of the Wallcreeper Tichodroma muraria". Journal of Ornithology. 157 (3): 913. doi:10.1007/s10336-016-1340-8.
  4. ^ Kessler, E. 2013. Neogene songbirds (Aves, Passeriformes) from Hungary. – Hantkeniana, Budapest, 2013, 8: 37-149.
  5. ^ Jobling, James A (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. pp. 262, 385. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
  6. ^ "Tichodroma muraria (Wallcreeper) - Avibase". avibase.bsc-eoc.org. Retrieved 2017-07-23.
  7. ^ "Nuthatches, Wallcreeper, treecreepers, mockingbirds, starlings & oxpeckers « IOC World Bird List". www.worldbirdnames.org. Retrieved 2017-07-23.
  8. ^ a b c Ehrlich, Paul R.; Dobkin, David S.; Wheye, Darryl; Pimm, Stuart L. (1994). The Birdwatcher's Handbook. Oxford University Press. p. 440. ISBN 978-0198584070.
  9. ^ a b Svensson, Lars; Peter J. Grant (1999). Collins Bird Guide. London: HarperCollins. pp. 324–5.
  10. ^ waarneming.nl (in Dutch)
  11. ^ http://datazone.birdlife.org/species/factsheet/22711234
  12. ^ http://www.hbw.com/species/wallcreeper-tichodroma-muraria
  13. ^ a b Harrap, Simon (2008), "Family Tichodromidae (Wallcreeper)", in del Hoyo, Josep; Elliott, Andrew; Christie, David (eds.), Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 13, Penduline-tits to Shrikes, Barcelona: Lynx Edicions, pp. 146–165, ISBN 978-84-96553-45-3

External links

Bicaz Gorge

The Bicaz Gorge (Romanian: Cheile Bicazului, Hungarian: Békás-szoros) is a gorge in Romania, located in the north-east part of the country, in Neamţ and Harghita counties; it is part of the Cheile Bicazului-Hășmaș National Park.

The gorge was excised by the waters of Bicaz River and it serves as a passageway between the Romanian provinces of Moldova and Transylvania.

It is a noted location to see the wallcreeper, an uncommon cliff-dwelling bird.

The road along the 8 kilometres of ravines, often in serpentines with rock on one side and a sheer drop on the other, is one of the most spectacular drives in the country. Also within the gorge is Lacul Roşu (the Red Lake), with its traditional cabins, hotels, and its famous lake (situated at 980m altitude) caused by a landslide in the 19th century.

Cheile Bicazului is one of the main rock climbing sites in Romania.

Dzhendema

Dzhendema or Djendema, meaning "hell", applies to the South slope of Mount Botev, 2376 m above sea level, the highest peak in the Balkan mountain range in Bulgaria 42°41′41″N 24°54′41″E. It is also called the Southern Dzhendem. It was established as reserve on March 28, 1953. Djendema encompasses 42.2 km², and is the largest reserve in the mountain and the second largest reserve in Bulgaria. It is centred on a granite extrusion combined with limestone outcroppings to form a labyrinth of steep slopes; deep, narrow gorges, massive rock cliffs, and huge waterfalls. Djendema Reserve shelters beech and fir forests and large meadows with unique sub-alpine grassy species and communities. Because of its specific geological and climatic conditions,the area is rich in endemic species and rare plants. One could take several days to cross Djendema.

There is also so called Northern Dzhendem or the Northern Djendem located on the north slope of Mount Botev 42°44′48.79″N 24°55′41.34″E. It was declared a Reserve on September 30, 1983. It has a total area of 16.1 km² and is the highest reserve in the Balkan Ranges, encompassing a wild and inaccessible section of the central part of the mountain. The reserve includes the nearly vertical northern slopes, approximately 10 kilometres wide with an average height of 900 metres, looming rock tiers, short and steep watersheds, overhanging cliffs, rock bridges, jaded cornices, deep precipices, numerous waterfalls, as well as grassy terraces. At low altitudes, ancient beech and fir forests cover almost two-thirds of the steeply sloped Northern Djendem. It also contains sub-alpine grassy and forest habitats. Many rare wildlife species have found their last refuge in this impenetrable natural forest, which is home to an unusual community of Siberian juniper, myrtle-leaf rhododendron and blueberry, as well as the only known location of Urumov’s campion in the world. The Northern Djendem is home to the Balkan chamois (alpine goat), brown bear, grey wolf, red deer, roe, golden eagle, peregrine falcon, and wallcreeper. The two Djendems are alpine objects for many climbers.

List of birds of Andorra

This is a list of the bird species recorded in Andorra. The avifauna of Andorra include a total of 161 species, of which 1 have been introduced by humans and 9 are rare or accidental.

This list's taxonomic treatment (designation and sequence of orders, families and species) and nomenclature (common and scientific names) follow the conventions of The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World, 6th edition. The family accounts at the beginning of each heading reflect this taxonomy, as do the species counts found in each family account. Introduced and accidental species are included in the total counts for Andorra.

The following tags have been used to highlight several categories. Not all species fall into one of these categories. Those that do not are commonly occurring native species.

(A) Accidental - a species that rarely or accidentally occurs in Andorra

(I) Introduced - a species introduced to Andorra as a consequence, direct or indirect, of human actions

List of birds of Armenia

This is a list of the bird species recorded in Armenia. The avifauna of Armenia include a total of 359 species, of which 14 are rare or accidental in Armenia and are not included in the species count.

This list's taxonomic treatment (designation and sequence of orders, families and species) and nomenclature (common and scientific names) follow the conventions of The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World, 6th edition. The family accounts at the beginning of each heading reflect this taxonomy, as do the species counts found in each family account. Accidental species are included in the total species count for Armenia.

The following tags have been used to highlight several categories. The commonly occurring native species do not fall into any of these categories.

(A) Accidental - a species that rarely or accidentally occurs in Armenia

(?) Non-confirmed record - a species that was mentioned in some older literature or reported in oral communication, but the fact of its occurrence in Armenia is not yet confirmed.

List of birds of Azerbaijan

This is a list of the bird species recorded in Azerbaijan. The avifauna of Azerbaijan include a total of 371 species, of which 9 are rare or accidental.

This list's taxonomic treatment (designation and sequence of orders, families and species) and nomenclature (common and scientific names) follow the conventions of The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World, 6th edition. The family accounts at the beginning of each heading reflect this taxonomy, as do the species counts found in each family account. Accidental species are included in the total species count for Azerbaijan.

The following tags have been used to highlight several categories. The commonly occurring native species do not fall into any of these categories.

(A) Accidental - a species that rarely or accidentally occurs in Azerbaijan

List of birds of Georgia (country)

This is a list of the bird species recorded in the country of Georgia. The avifauna of Georgia include a total of 361 species, of which 11 are rare or accidental.

This list's taxonomic treatment (designation and sequence of orders, families and species) and nomenclature (common and scientific names) follow the conventions of The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World, 6th edition. The family accounts at the beginning of each heading reflect this taxonomy, as do the species counts found in each family account. Accidental species are included in the total species count for Georgia.

The following tag has been used to highlight accidentals. The commonly occurring native species are untagged.

(A) Accidental - a species that rarely or accidentally occurs in Georgia

List of birds of Gibraltar

This is a list of the bird species recorded in Gibraltar. The avifauna of Gibraltar include a total of 311 species, of which seven have been introduced by humans and 128 are rare or accidental in Gibraltar. Five species are globally threatened. The majority of the introduced species are wanderers from introduced populations in Spain.

This list's taxonomic treatment (designation and sequence of orders, families and species) and nomenclature (common and scientific names) follow the conventions of The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World, 6th edition with a few changes to match the list of the Gibraltar Ornithological & Natural History Society. The family accounts at the beginning of each heading reflect the Clements' taxonomy, as do the species counts found in each family account. Introduced and accidental species are included in the total counts for Gibraltar.

The following tags have been used to highlight categories. The commonly occurring native species do not fall into any of these categories.

(A) Accidental - a species that rarely or accidentally occurs in Gibraltar

(I) Introduced - a species which occurs in Gibraltar as a consequence, direct or indirect, of human actions

List of birds of Greece

This is a list of the bird species recorded in Greece. The avifauna of Greece include a total of 453 species according to the Hellenic Rarities Committee of the Hellenic Ornithological Society (Ελληνική Ορνιθολογική Εταιρεία). Of them, four have not been recorded since 1950 and two have been introduced by humans.This list's taxonomic treatment (designation and sequence of orders, families and species) and nomenclature (English and scientific names) are those of The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World, 2018 edition.The following tags have been used to highlight several categories of occurrence. Species without tags are regularly occurring residents, migrants, or seasonal visitors which have been recorded since 1 January 1950.

(*) Rare in Greece; reports of these 120 species require submission to the Hellenic Rarities Committee for inclusion in the official record.

(B) Species which have not occurred in Greece since 1 January 1950.

(C) Species that do not occur naturally in Greece, although breeding populations have been introduced by humans.

List of birds of Iraq

This is a list of the bird species recorded in Iraq. The avifauna of Iraq include a total of 415 species, of which two have been introduced by humans and thirteen are rare or accidental. One species listed is extirpated in Iraq and is not included in the species count. Fourteen species are globally threatened.

This list's taxonomic treatment (designation and sequence of orders, families and species) and nomenclature (common and scientific names) follow the conventions of The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World, 6th edition. The family accounts at the beginning of each heading reflect this taxonomy, as do the species counts found in each family account. Introduced and accidental species are included in the total counts for Iraq.

The following tags have been used to highlight several categories, but not all species fall into one of these categories. Those that do not are commonly occurring native species.

(A) Accidental - a species that rarely or accidentally occurs in Iraq

(I) Introduced - a species introduced to Iraq as a consequence, direct or indirect, of human actions

(Ex) Extirpated - a species that no longer occurs in Iraq although populations exist elsewhere

(X) Extinct - a species that no longer exists

List of birds of Luxembourg

This is a list of the bird species recorded in Luxembourg. The avifauna of Luxembourg include a total of 289 species, of which five have been introduced by humans and 89 are rare or accidental; of these, 15 have not been reported in Luxembourg since 1950.

This list's taxonomic treatment (designation and sequence of orders, families and species) and nomenclature (common and scientific names) follow the conventions of the LNVL (Lëtzebuerger Natur- a Vulleschutzliga).

The following tags have been used to highlight several categories. Not all species fall into one of these categories; those that do not are commonly occurring native species.

(H) Historical - a species not recorded in Luxembourg since 1950

(I) Introduced - a species introduced to Luxembourg as a consequence, direct or indirect, of human actions

(A) Accidental - a species that rarely or accidentally occurs in Luxembourg, for which supporting descriptions are required by the Luxemburg Rarities Committee (Luxemburger Homologationskommission)

List of birds of Mongolia

This is a list of the bird species recorded in Mongolia. The avifauna of Mongolia include a total of 427 species, of which four are rare or accidental. One species listed is extirpated in Mongolia and is not included in the species count.

This list's taxonomic treatment (designation and sequence of orders, families and species) and nomenclature (common and scientific names) follow the conventions of The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World, 6th edition. The family accounts at the beginning of each heading reflect this taxonomy, as do the species counts found in each family account. Accidental species are included in the total species count for Mongolia.

The following tags have been used to highlight several categories. The commonly occurring native species do not fall into any of these categories.

(A) Accidental - a species that rarely or accidentally occurs in Mongolia

(Ex) Extirpated - a species that no longer occurs in Mongolia although populations exist elsewhere

List of birds of Poland

This is a list of the bird species recorded in Poland. The avifauna of Poland include 446 species, of which six have been introduced by humans and seven have not occurred since 1950.

This list's taxonomic treatment (designation and sequence of orders, families and species) and nomenclature (common and scientific names) follow the conventions of the Polish Fauna Commission (Komisja Faunistyczna). The Polish names of the birds, with their scientific names, are in the Polish Wikipedia article.

The following tags have been used to highlight several categories. The commonly occurring native species do not fall into any of these categories.

(B) Historical - species that have not occurred in Poland since 1950

(C) Introduced - species introduced to Poland as a consequence, direct or indirect, of human actions

(*) Rare - species that are rare or accidental in Poland

List of birds of Tajikistan

This is a list of the bird species recorded in Tajikistan. The avifauna of Tajikistan include a total of 353 species, none of which are introduced, accidental or endemic.This list's taxonomic treatment (designation and sequence of orders, families and species) and nomenclature (common and scientific names) follow the conventions of The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World, 6th edition. The family accounts at the beginning of each heading reflect this taxonomy, as do the species counts found in each family account.

List of birds of the Netherlands

This is a list of the bird species recorded in the Netherlands. The avifauna of the Netherlands included a total of 534 species recorded in the wild by early 2018 according to Checklist of Dutch bird species and Bird Checklists of the World. Of these species, 238 are accidental, 16 have been introduced by humans, and one is extinct.

This list's taxonomic treatment (designation and sequence of orders, families and species) and nomenclature (common and scientific names) follow the conventions of The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World, 2018 edition.The following tags have been used to highlight some categories of occurrence. The (A) tags are from one or both of Checklist of Dutch bird species and Bird Checklists of the World, and (I) tags are from Bird Checklists of the World. The notes of population status such as "endangered" apply to the world population and are also from Bird Checklists of the World.

(A) Accidental - a species that rarely or accidentally occurs in the Netherlands

(I) Introduced - a species introduced to the Netherlands as a consequence, direct or indirect, of human actions

Musala

Musala (Bulgarian: Мусала); from Arabic through Ottoman Turkish: from Musalla, "near God" or "place for prayer" is the highest peak in Rila mountain, also in Bulgaria and the entire Balkan Peninsula, standing at 2,925 metres (9,596 ft). With a topographic prominence of 2,473 metres (8,114 ft), Musala is also the 8th highest peak by topographic prominence in mainland Europe. Musala is also the 4th most topographically isolated peak in Continental Europe.Musala is situated within the Rila National Park, which is noted for its rich flora, including species such as Macedonian Pine and Bulgarian Fir in the forests on its middle slopes, and fauna; it is one of the easiest places in Europe to see the wallcreeper. All major mountain ranges of Bulgaria can be seen from the top; these include Vitosha to the northwest, Sredna Gora towards the northeast, the Balkan Mountains along most of the northern horizon behind Vitosha and Sredna Gora, the Rhodope Mountains to the southeast, Pirin to the south, Osogovo and Ruy Mountain to the west, and of course Rila.

A cosmic ray station was built on the peak in 1960 with cooperation from the Hungarian Academy of Science. The station conducted scientific experiments using a muon telescope. The station was destroyed by an electrical fire on October 29, 1983.With an average annual temperature of -2.3 °C Musala is the coldest place in Bulgaria and the entire Balkan Peninsula. Temperatures stay below 0 °C for about 8 months each year. Due to this about 45% of the annual precipitation on Musala is snow, and snow cover lasts for about 200 days (more than six months). Three of the main rivers of Bulgaria, the Iskar, Maritsa and Mesta have their sources near Musala.

The next highest peaks in the vicinity of Musala are Malka (Little) Musala (2,902 metres (9,521 ft)) and Irechek (2,852 metres (9,357 ft)).

Nell Zink

Nell Zink (born 1964) is an American novelist. Her novel, Mislaid, was longlisted for the National Book Award. The Wallcreeper, Zink's debut novel, released in the US by the independent Dorothy, a Publishing Project, was named one of 100 notable books of 2014 by The New York Times.

Nuthatch

The nuthatches constitute a genus, Sitta, of small passerine birds belonging to the family Sittidae. Characterised by large heads, short tails, and powerful bills and feet, nuthatches advertise their territory using loud, simple songs. Most species exhibit grey or bluish upperparts and a black eye stripe.

Most nuthatches breed in the temperate or montane woodlands of the Northern Hemisphere, although two species have adapted to rocky habitats in the warmer and drier regions of Eurasia. However, the greatest diversity is in Southern Asia, and similarities between the species have made it difficult to identify distinct species. All members of this genus nest in holes or crevices. Most species are non-migratory and live in their habitat year-round, although the North American red-breasted nuthatch migrates to warmer regions during the winter. A few nuthatch species have restricted ranges and face threats from deforestation.

Nuthatches are omnivorous where they eat mostly insects, nuts, and seeds. They forage for insects hidden in or under bark by climbing along tree trunks and branches, sometimes upside-down. They forage within their territories when breeding, but they may join mixed feeding flocks at other times. Their habit of wedging a large food item in a crevice and then hacking at it with their strong bills gives this group its English name.

Salpornis

Salpornis is a genus of bird which is usually included in the Certhiidae family. The genus has in the past been included with the nuthatches in the family Sittidae or placed in a family of its own, the Salpornithidae. Molecular phylogenetic analyses show them to be definitely within the Certhioidea but still leaves some uncertainty about their placement in relation to the genera Sitta, Tichodroma and Certhia. While they appear similar to the treecreepers (Certhia), they do not use their tails to support them while climbing and some molecular evidence shows them to be closer to the nuthatches (Sitta) while another study suggests a closer relation to the wallcreeper Tichodroma muraria. The generic name is derived from the Greek salpinktes for wren and ornis for bird.

The tail has twelve feathers and is rounded at the tips. The nostril is exposed and there are no rictal bristles. The tongue ends in five bristles.The genus has two species with the African species earlier considered as a subspecies. Differences in size, calls and mitochondrial DNA sequences have supported the splitting of the African and Indian populations.

Indian spotted creeper (Salpornis spilonota)

African spotted creeper (Salpornis salvadori) with four subspecies.

Treecreeper

The treecreepers are a family, Certhiidae, of small passerine birds, widespread in wooded regions of the Northern Hemisphere and sub-Saharan Africa. The family contains ten species in two genera, Certhia and Salpornis. Their plumage is dull-coloured, and as their name implies, they climb over the surface of trees in search of food.

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