Family Treecreepers (Certhiidae)

Least Concern

Hodgson's Treecreeper (Certhia hodgsoni)


French: Grimpereau de Hodgson German: Himalajabaumläufer Spanish: Agateador de Hodgson

Certhia familiaris hodgsoni

W. E. Brooks

, 1871,



Formerly treated as conspecific with C. familiaris, but differs genetically and vocally. Geographical variation marked: nominate race and mandellii, as well as differing morphologically and vocally#R, exhibit significant genetic differences (based on studies of cytochrome b), and their ranges abut in Himalayas of N India with no evidence of intergradation; they may each merit species status. Races mandellii and khamensis are much more similar to each other morphologically, but show significant, albeit smaller, difference in cytochrome b. Birds from Kwanhsien region of Sichuan (China) with dull grey underparts have been described as race kwanhsienensis, which possibly merits recognition. Three subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. h. hodgsoni W. E. Brooks, 1871 – Hodgson’s Treecreeper – W Himalayas in Pakistan (Hazara, Indus Kohistan and Gilgit), Kashmir and NW India (E to Lahul, in Himachal Pradesh).
  • C. h. mandellii W. E. Brooks, 1874 – Brooks’s Treecreeper – C Himalayas of N India from Himachal Pradesh (E from Kulu) E, including Nepal and Bhutan, to extreme W Arunachal Pradesh (Tawang).
  • C. h. khamensis Bianchi, 1903 – S China from S Gansu (S flanks of Qinling Mts) S to S & SE Xizang, Sichuan and NW Yunnan (Lijiang Range and Nu Shan), and presumably NE India (in Pachakshiri region of Arunachal Pradesh); one Jun record from NE Myanmar (Adung Valley).
  • Descriptive notes

    11–12 cm; 7·6–12 g. Nominate race in fresh plumage has crown and nape dull brown, feathers fringed black with narrow whitish shaft streaks, lores blackish... read more


    Calls include "tsree" note, sometimes doubled, and "tsree-seee tsree-seee". Song 2–3 high-... read more


    Breeds in high-altitude coniferous woodland, often with mixture of rhododendrons (Rhododendron... read more

    Food and feeding

    Food small arthropods. Forages on trees in typical treecreeper manner, work upwards in jerky hops, spiralling around trunk, then flies to... read more


    Poorly known; few nests found, and older data in the literature unreliable owing to nomenclatural confusion and possibility of... read more


    Resident, but some altitudinal movements.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. In Himalayas, rare and erratic in Pakistan and apparently very rare in Kashmir, but not uncommon from Uttaranchal E to Bhutan. The commonest... read more

    Recommended citation

    Harrap, S. (2020). Hodgson's Treecreeper (Certhia hodgsoni). 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 23 January 2020).