Hume’s Treecreeper

Hume's Treecreeper
Hume’s Treecreeper Certhia manipurensis shanensis, Gaoligong Mountains (25.295660, 98.773962), Yunnan, China, elev. 2400 m (7,870 ft.), February. (Craig Brelsford)
Hume's Treecreeper
Hume’s Treecreeper, Gaoligong Mountains (25.295660, 98.773962), Yunnan, February. (Craig Brelsford)
Hume's Treecreeper
Hume’s Treecreeper searching for arthropods under bark, Gaoligong Mountains (25.295660, 98.773962), Yunnan, February. (Craig Brelsford).

In China, Hume’s Treecreeper Certhia manipurensis shanensis occurs only in Yunnan around the Gaoligong Mountains. HABITAT & BEHAVIOR Breeds in broadleaved and mixed subtropical forest, to 3100 m (10,170 ft.). Behavior typical of genus. ID & COMPARISON Has brown upperparts with buff and white streaks, spots, and mottling and an orange-brown rump. Tail brown, brighter and less contrasting against rump than Hodgson’s Treecreeper C. hodgsoni. Cheeks blackish-brown with buffish center. Throat and upper breast has buff-brown wash (may be absent in juveniles and non-breeding adults); lower breast and belly brownish-grey, vent and undertail coverts cinnamon. Very similar to Sikkim Treecreeper C. discolor. Sikkim usually lacks buff on throat and upper breast and in China occurs only in southern Tibet. Hodgson’s Treecreeper has white throat and breast and more prominent white supercilium and lacks cinnamon vent and undertail coverts. Bar-tailed Treecreeper C. himalayana has white throat and conspicuous black bars on tail. Both Hodgson’s and Bar-tailed breed at higher elevations than Hume’s, but in winter the three species are more likely to converge at lower elevations. Rusty-flanked Treecreeper C. nipalensis has richly colored rufous belly, flanks, and breast-sides, a more conspicuous buffish-white supercilium, and a shorter, straighter bill. BARE PARTS Bill blackish-grey above; lower mandible pale brown. Feet pale brown, with long decurved claws (especially hind claw). VOICE Fast song approximately 3 seconds long, reminiscent of tit or nuthatch: chee-pe-chee-pe-chee-pe-chee-pe. Song slower and a bit shorter than Sikkim Treecreeper. Explosive call can be short version of song: chee-pe-chip or sharp, descending chiuu. — Craig Brelsford


Hume’s Treecreeper Certhia manipurensis shanensis, call, Gaoligong Mountains (25.295660, 98.773962), Yunnan, China, February, by Craig Brelsford (0:14; 992 KB)

Hume’s Treecreeper Certhia manipurensis shanensis, song, Gaoligong Mountains (25.295660, 98.773962), Yunnan, by Craig Brelsford (0:13; 982 KB)

THE TREECREEPERS OF CHINA has research on all seven species of treecreeper in China. Click any link below:

Eurasian Treecreeper Certhia familiaris
Hodgson’s Treecreeper C. hodgsoni
Bar-tailed Treecreeper C. himalayana
Rusty-flanked Treecreeper C. nipalensis
Sikkim Treecreeper C. discolor
Hume’s Treecreeper C. manipurensis
Sichuan Treecreeper C. tianquanensis


Daniel Bengtsson served as chief ornithological consultant for Craig Brelsford’s Photographic Field Guide to the Birds of China, from which this species description is drawn.

Go to Birds of China page

Reach us:

Be notified every time we post. Send an
email with “Subscribe” as the subject to

Donate to Shanghai Birding!

Shanghai Birding 上海观鸟