Saturday, 5 March 2011


Thicodroma muraria

Common name:

Order Passeriformes
Family Thicodromadidae

These birds are found from south-west Europe, along southern France, Italy and the Balkans, and into eastern Europe and Turkey. Then, they occur in the Caucasus and northern Iran, along northern Afghanistan, northern Pakistan and northern India, and across the Himalayas to south-west China and some parts of Mongolia.

The wallcreeper is 15,5-17 cm long and weighs 17-19 g.

A bird of the high mountains, this species is found is rocky alpine habitats, often near mountain streams in areas with some grasses. They breed at altitudes of 1.000-3.000 m but may winter at lower altitudes when they can be found near old buildings and quarries.

Wallcreepers take a variety of invertebrates, including insects, spiders and opiliones, which they take from crevices in rocks or from the ground. May ocasionally hunt for insects in flight, but with little success.

These birds are probably monogamous, starting to nest in April-May. The female builds a cup nest of grass and moss, sheltered deep in a rock crevice, hole or cave. The nest in lined with softer materials, including feathers or wool, and typically has two entrances. The fem
ale lays 3-5 white eggs marked with black or reddish-brown speckles, which she incubates alone for 19-20 days. Both parents feed the chicks which will typically fledge after 28-30 days, but the fledging period may vary depending on the weather conditions. Each pair raises only 1 brood per year.

IUCN status - LC (Least concern)
This species has an extremely large breeding range and a global population of 250.000-1.200.000 individuals. The population is believed to be stable and there are no evidence for any significant threats or declines.

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