Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Castel di Guido Natural Reserve
Castel di Guido is a natural reserve near Rome. 2000 hectares, within local farmland, it's a little sanctuary for our wildlfe. I go there to ring birds.
The green woodpecker in the picture is a common inhabitant of the reserve, and its call can be heard constantly.
One of the birds we caught during our last ringing session, just a few days ago, is a Short-toed Treecreeper. His plumage is a mixture spots and streaks of different shades of browns and greys, and it provides excellent camouflage against tree bark. His tail feathers are stiffened, very much like those of woodpeckers, and he uses them to prop himself against tree trunks. And to clim trees efficiently, he possesses long sharp claws. He feeds on insects, and small spiders which he plucks out of the crevices in the bark with his long decurved bill.
When foraging, the Short-toed Treecreeper flies down to the base of a tree, then spirals up the trunk, using its stiff tail feathers for support.