Short Toed Treecreeper Bird is almost identical to the Eurasian Treecreeper, its distinctive call being the best guide to identification. Short Toed Treecreeper Bird generally has a longer bill, browner rear flanks, and of course a shorter hindclaw! Subtle differences in the complex patterns on the closed wing can also assist identification, but to study this feature in close detail ideally requires photographic evidence.
Short Toed Treecreeper Bird is a very rare visitor to Britain, with just 22 records since 1969, mostly from south-east England. It is found just across the Channel, however, and widely trvrougri continental Europe. It favours similar habitat to Eurasian Treecreeper, preferring lowlands, although it does go higher in the southern part of its range and has a preference for oak or pine in some areas.
The song of Short Toed Treecreeper Bird is a jerkily rhythmed, halting collection of harsher and lower-pitched notes when compared to the song of the Eurasian Treecreeper, and is significantly shorter, lasting for 1-1.5 seconds. It comprises six notes on average, each quite widely varied in tone, such as "teh-too' seh' sissoo' wii' sehr ". In some areas it reduces this phrase to just three or four notes. It also gives call and song variations, such as a rather rasping "tseh, tszu'tzeh tzerr, tszu'tzeh tzerr" and a bright "tuh! tu'teet!". The main call is quite different and is a sure way to tell Short-toed and Eurasian apart. Short-toed gives a short, shrill and penetrating "tenk!" or "tehh!", very similar to the calls of Coal Tit or Dunnock. Another call is a high, slightly rolling "tserrrrh", similar to that of the Eurasian, but lower pitched and rougher sounding. In flight it gives a short "zit" or "sit" flight call, similar to that of the Eurasian.