Family Australasian Treecreepers (Climacteridae)

Least Concern

Black-tailed Treecreeper (Climacteris melanurus)


French: Échelet à queue noire German: Schwarzschwanz-Baumrutscher Spanish: Corretroncos colinegro

Climacteris melanura


, 1843,

Derby, Western Australia


Race wellsi has in the past been treated as a separate species. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. m. melanurus Gould, 1843 – Black-tailed Treecreeper – N Western Australia (E from Broome) and N Northern Territory E to Gulf of Carpentaria uplands and NW Queensland (S to Tropic of Capricorn).
  • C. m. wellsi Ogilvie-Grant, 1909 – Chestnut-bellied Treecreeper – Pilbara region of W Western Australia.
  • Descriptive notes

    16–19 cm; 32 g. Male nominate race is blackish-brown above, with indistinct fine white streaks on ear-coverts; upper­wing similar, with broad pale cream-buff band... read more


    Contact calls strident, high-pitched “ching” or downward-inflected disyllabic “chee-ting”, singly... read more


    Open eucalypt forests, woodlands and savannas in monsoon-tropical and semi-arid regions, dominated... read more

    Food and feeding

    Relatively little known. Food mainly ants (Formicidae) and beetles (Coleoptera), also moths (Lepidoptera), grasshoppers (Orthoptera) and... read more


    Comparatively little known. Season Jun–Jan; probably two broods, as laying observed in Jun and Sept–Oct at site near Darwin (... read more


    Preliminary observations suggest that species is sedentary within year-round all-purpose territory.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Locally common. Recorded densities 0·1–0·6 birds/ha. In most parts of range, habitat subject to regular burning, often annually,... read more

    Recommended citation

    Noske, R. (2020). Black-tailed Treecreeper (Climacteris melanurus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 25 February 2020).