Brown-throated Treecreeper (Sikkim Treecreeper) Certhia discolor
- Certhia : Greek word kerthios small tree-dwelling insect-eating bird mentioned by Aristotle
- discolor : Latin word for “ of different colour”
Vernacular Names: Pahari: Sulsuli, Ass: Chua sorai, Cachar: Dao-mojo, Mani: Voh-ti-ti-ling, Lepcha: Saddyer-pho, Naga: Inrui-m-jet
Distribution in India: Eastern Himalayas to North East India (Eastwards to East Arunachal Pradesh, South of River Brahmaputra in Nagaland and West Manipur) and rare in East Uttarakhand
Description: Size of 14 cm; Wt. of 8–12·5 g. In fresh plumage (Autumn-Winter), feathers from forehead to mantle are cinnamon-brown with paler buff shafts and dark brown fringes forming neat pattern of pale buff spots on crown and upper mantle, more scaled appearance on lower mantle and scapulars. The lores are dark brown; supercilium is flecked pale buff with odd whitish feathers, broader and whiter behind eye. Cheek and ear-coverts are dark brown, ear-coverts are tipped buff; lower back, rump and uppertail-coverts are orange-rufous. The lesser upperwing-coverts are as mantle, median coverts are blackish-brown, tipped cinnamon-buff, greater coverts are dark brown, inners with buff tip, shaft streak and fringe on outer web, tipped buff. The alula and primary coverts are dark brown, alula is tipped pale buff, largest feather also fringed pale buff; tertials are dull buff, inner webs are washed brown. The outer webs are with dark brown subterminal band adjacent to shaft on distal half, separated from dark brown basal half by buff band. The secondaries are dark brown, tipped pale buff, with pale band across base buffy white on outer web and white on concealed inner web. The primaries are dark brown. The tail is dull cinnamon, shafts are pale rufous; throat and breast are light drab-buff, becoming paler on rear flanks, belly and vent. The undertail-coverts are warm buff, axillaries and underwing-coverts are white. In worn plumage (spring-summer) underparts on average slightly duller, dingier and less buffy, belly slightly darker and duller, pale streaks on crown and nape narrower and better defined; iris is reddish-brown to dark brown; upper mandible is dark brown, black on culmen, lower mandible is pale horn to whitish with darker tip; legs are pale flesh-brown to dark brown. Both the sexes are similar. The juvenile is as adult but shorter-billed, with fine dark scallops on throat and breast, which are tinged cinnamon-buff.
Habitat: It is found in broadleaf forest, both deciduous and evergreen, mossy oak forest. In summers found at 1600–2750 m. In winter regularly comes down to 1000 m. It occupies lowest altitudinal belt of the four species of Treecreeper found in Himalayas and associated ranges, normally overlapping in breeding season only with C. nipalensis; in non-breeding season, this separation obscured by altitudinal movements.
Food Habits: It eats insects and spiders. The foraging behaviour typical of the genus, creeping jerkily on moss-laden and lichen-covered trunks and boughs of trees and picking prey items from crevices and cracks. It is found singly and in pair and in Mixed flocks in non-breeding season.
Breeding habits: They breed Mar–May in Himalayas.