Stripe-headed Creepers or Stripe-headed Rhabdornises

Starlings ... Creepers and Treecreepers
Stripe-headed Creeper, Rhabdornis mystacalis

Distribution / Habitat:

The Stripe-headed Creeper can be found in the Philippine Islands of Luzon, Negros, Panay, Masbate, Contanduenes, Leyte, Mindanao, Samar, Basilan, Bohol, Calicoan and Dinagat.

They frequent tropical forests from sea level up to an elevation of about 3,900 feet (1,200 meters), preferring lowland forests and second growth forests, and are usually found within the canopy or middle story of the trees. They are believed to nest in cavities (hollow areas) and holes of trees.

Stripe-headed Creepers are active during the day, and often flock together in groups of up to twenty-five individuals.

They usually remain in the canopy and middle story of primary forests, forest edges, and secondary growth. They are usually seen in flocks of up to 25 birds.

At dusk, they may roost in large groups of up to several hundreds of birds.


The Stripe-headed Creepers (rhabdornis mysticalis) - also known as Stripe-headed Rhabdornises- measure 5.7 to 6.2 inches (14.5 to 15.8 centimeters) in length and weigh between 2.75 and 3.00 ounces (78 to 85 grams).

They have striated heads that are marked with narrow parallel bands. They have black bills, dark brown eyes and dark legs.

Males and females mostly look alike - except ...

  • Males are generally larger than females
  • Adult males have a blackish brown crown (top part of the head) and nape (back part of the neck) with many white streaks, a broad strip through the eye, while the face and the rest of the neck are blackish brown.
  • Females have a lighter brown crown and face.

Stripe-headed Creeper

Diet / Food:

Stripe-headed Creepers mostly feed on insects, but will also takenectar, fruits and seeds . They forage (search for food) along limbs, checking crevices with their thin pointed, down-curved bills in order to remove insects from tree bark. Theyuse their brush-tipped tongues to remove nectar in flowers.

Calls / Vocalizations

Its call is described as a high-pitched "tsee tsee WICK tsee." The last yllable "tsee" is called out softly but the "WICK" is sharp and loud.

Species Research by Sibylle Johnson

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