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Species Guide

African Spotted Creeper

Salpornis salvadori

The African spotted creeper, known scientifically as Salpornis salvadori, is a small passerine bird that belongs to the subfamily Salpornithinae within the treecreeper family Certhiidae. It is distinguished by its strongly spotted and barred plumage, which sets it apart from the treecreepers of the subfamily Certhiinae. This bird has a modest stature, with a length of up to 15 cm (5.9 in) and a weight reaching 16 grams (0.56 oz).

Identification Tips

When observing the African spotted creeper, one should note its thin, pointed, and down-curved bill, which is adept at extracting insects from bark. Unlike its Certhiinae relatives, it does not possess the stiff tail feathers used for support on vertical trees.


This species is typically found in open deciduous forests and mango groves across sub-Saharan Africa.


The African spotted creeper is a resident bird that does not migrate, except for local movements. It is distributed across various regions in sub-Saharan Africa, with four recognized subspecies occupying distinct geographical areas.


The African spotted creeper is known for its unique nesting habits and its method of foraging for insects on tree bark, using its specialized bill.


Breeding characteristics of the African spotted creeper include a nest that is a cup shape, placed on a horizontal branch, often in a crotch, and cleverly camouflaged with spiders' egg sacs, caterpillar frass, and lichen. The typical clutch consists of three eggs, which are blue or greenish in color, adorned with markings of grey, lavender, and brown.

Diet and Feeding

The African spotted creeper's diet consists primarily of insects, which it skillfully extracts from tree bark using its specialized bill.

Conservation status

The IUCN Red List classifies the African spotted creeper as Least Concern, indicating that it currently faces no significant threat of extinction.

African Spotted Creeper Sounds

Recorded by: © 
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African Spotted Creepers on Birda


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