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a genus of birds of the family Certhiidae. The body is 13–15.5 cm long. The birds are grayish brown and spotted above and white below. The claws are strong. The tail feathers are stiff and have sharp tips. The tails serve as a brace for the bird as it climbs tree trunks in search of food, which consists of insects and spiders. There are five species, distributed in the forests of Europe, Asia (south to the Himalayas), northwestern Africa, and America (from Alaska to Nicaragua). The USSR has three species: the tree creeper (C. familiaris), the short-toed creeper (C. brachydactyla), and the Himalayan creeper (C. himalayand). The birds nest behind pieces of loose bark or in cracks in tree trunks. A clutch contains four to seven eggs. The eggs usually are hatched in 14 or 15 days, only by the female. The birds migrate in the winter.