Irish Name: Snag
Scientific name: Certhia familiaris
Bird Family: Treecreeper
Conservation status


A widespread resident in mature hedgerows and deciduous forests.


Small, about the same size as a Blue Tit. Ages and sexes appear similar. The upperparts are grey-brown with some limited white streaking on the crown. The underparts, including the throat are white with a brownish wash to the flanks and vent. Has a medium length, slightly curved bill that it uses to search for insects in the bark of trees. Has distinctive behaviour of creeping up trees, looking quietly for food. When it reaches the top of a tree, it flies down to the base of another tree. Its cryptic plumage and high-pitched call make it quite tricky to find in a forest.


The most frequently heard call is a high pitched “ssrri”, similar to some calls of Goldcrest, Blackbird and Coal Tit. The song is a series of three or four high pitched notes.


Feeds almost exclusively on insects and other invertebrates found in the bark of trees.


A widespread though unobtrusive resident throughout Ireland, favouring mature hedgerows and broadleaf forests (Oak, Birch).


The majority of the population is resident with only local dispersal of young in autumn. Has recently been observed visiting peanut feeders.

Monitored by

Countryside Bird Survey and BirdTrack.