Family Nuthatches (Sittidae)

Least Concern

Wallcreeper (Tichodroma muraria)


French: Tichodrome échelette German: Mauerläufer Spanish: Treparriscos

Certhia muraria


, 1766,

southern Europe


Geographical variation only slight; race nepalensis considered insufficiently differentiated by some authors, who treat species as monotypic. Other proposed races are longirostra (mountains of Iran) and ognewi (Tashkent, in Uzbekistan), synonymized with nominate and nepalensis, respectively. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • T. m. muraria (Linnaeus, 1766) – mountains of S & E Europe (N Spain and S France E, including Corsica, to Italy, Balkans, Caucasus, S & E Turkey) E to N Iran (Elburz Mts; perhaps Azerbaijan and Zagros Mts#R). Non-breeding at lower altitudes.
  • T. m. nepalensis Bonaparte, 1850 – mountains from Turkmenistan and E Iran (Khorasan) E to Kazakhstan (Tien Shan), W Mongolia (Mongolian Altai, Gobian Altai) and, in S, to Himalayas and N, C & E China (N & E Tibetan Plateau E, discontinuously, to Hebei and W Liaoning, and S to Yunnan). Non-breeding at lower altitudes.
  • Descriptive notes

    16·5–17 cm; 16·7–19·3 g (nominate), 13–20 g (nepalensis). Unmistakable in all plumages, but small, roughly the size of... read more


    Vocal all year. Song (in Europe) consists of ascending clear whistles with lower end note, latter... read more


    Varied rocky regions, typically including steep, rugged cliffs and boulder-strewn slopes, and damp... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet mainly small and some larger insects, including adults, larvae and eggs, also spiders (Araneae) and some other invertebrates. Recorded... read more


    Season Apr/May–Jul/Aug in Europe, depending on altitude, and mainly May–Jul farther E, e.g. in Himalayas; single-brooded.... read more


    Short-distance and altitudinal migrant throughout most of range. Most winter within or close to... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Locally fairly common. Because of its sparse distribution, often in inaccessible montane habitat, and elusive, inconspicuous nature, this species... read more

    Recommended citation

    Löhrl, H. & Wilson, M. (2020). Wallcreeper (Tichodroma muraria). 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 17 February 2020).