Family Australasian Treecreepers (Climacteridae)

Least Concern

Brown Treecreeper (Climacteris picumnus)


French: Échelet brun German: Spechtbaumrutscher Spanish: Corretroncos pardo

Climacteris picumnus


, 1824,

southern Queensland, Australia


Races intergrade; melanotus has been considered a separate species, but specimens occur intermediate in colour and size between it and nominate. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. p. melanotus Gould, 1847 – Black-backed Treecreeper – N Queensland (from Cape York S to Burdekin R), in NE Australia.
  • C. p. picumnus Temminck, 1824 – Brown Treecreeper – C & E Queensland (from lower Burdekin R) S to SE South Australia.
  • C. p. victoriae Mathews, 1912 – E seaboard and Great Dividing Range from SE Queensland (Bunya Mts) S to coastal W Victoria (The Grampians).
  • Descriptive notes

    14–18 cm; 22–44 g. Male nominate race has brownish-grey crown and neck, blackish-grey lores and eyestripe, broad creamy supercilium, indistinct narrow whitish... read more


    Main call a slightly upward-inflected staccato “pink”, singly or repeated slowly 5... read more


    Mostly woodlands dominated by eucalypts (Eucalyptus), especially rough-barked species such... read more

    Food and feeding

    Adult and larval insects, mainly ants (Formicidae); also spiders (Araneae); also occasionally takes nectar and sap from eucalypts. Of 3339... read more


    Season mid-Jul to early Dec; up to six nesting attempts per season, but usually only one brood (rarely, two) successfully reared. Breeds as... read more


    Sedentary. Of 752 recoveries of ringed individuals, all were less than 10 km from site of ringing. read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Locally common. N populations of race melanotus in far N Queensland have declined, and their range contracted since at least 1930s, probably... read more

    Recommended citation

    Noske, R. (2020). Brown Treecreeper (Climacteris picumnus). 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 24 February 2020).