Taxonomy of the Brown Creeper in California
Three subspecies of the Brown Creeper breed in California: C. a. zelotes, from the inner Coast Range of northern California east to the Warner Mountains and south through the Sierra Nevada, Transverse, and Peninsular ranges, has a dark cinnamon rump, a dusky brown crown and back narrowly streaked whitish, and white underparts. C. a. occidentalis from the humid coast belt from the Oregon border south to Marin and Alameda counties: has a dark cinnamon rump, a deep rufous crown and back narrowly streaked buff, and white underparts. C. a. phillipsi, new subspecies, of the central coast from San Mateo to San Luis Obispo counties, has a golden cinnamon rump, a deep rufous crown and back narrowly streaked whitish and smoke gray, and grayish brown underparts. Two additional subspecies occur as rare winter visitors: C. a. montana, breeding in the Rocky Mountains and known in California from five specimens; has a paler tawny rump, a relatively pale crown and back with broad white streaks but little rufous, and white underparts. C. a. americana, breeding in eastern North America and known in California from four specimens: has also a pale tawny rump, a relatively pale crown with broad buff-tinted whitish streaks, a broadly white-streaked back with much rufous, usually white underparts (sometimes tinted pale peach color), and a tendency to a shorter bill.