Like a Butterfly: The incredible life of the Wallcreeper

Published by Salamandrefilms

From Spain to China, throughout Eurasia, a fabulous bird discreetly haunts the mountains. Few ornithologists examine its life. Illustrated reports about this flamboyant bird are rare. No films exist.

This documentary, a world first, sets out to fill this gap so as to enable the vast majority to finally enter into the extraordinary world of the wallcreeper. It invites you into a stony, vertical universe to share in the bird’s daily life, following it closely for an entire year through the rhythm of the days, seasons, climatic variations and meetings with its neighbours on the rock faces.  

Somewhere in the Alps, at around 2000m in altitude. The wallcreepers make a sudden return after wintering lower down in the valley. They are going to breed, and we will follow the nesting process from their displays to the flight of the young birds.

Why do wallcreepers return to such heights each summer? What is their secret? In fact, the reason that the wallcreeper is so original in its morphology and its habits because it lives on the rock and benefits from a fabulous manna that is inaccessible to other rock birds such as crag martins and redstarts. Millions of insects, spiders and small crustaceans live in this hostile environment. Concealed on the rock or in its cavities, they represent an enormous biomass of prey, a treasure-trove for the wallcreeper.

The nomadic and vertical habits of the butterfly-like bird guarantee it survives the winter without mishap, while its body, right to the tip of its claws, is dedicated to life on rock faces. The wallcreeper – one of nature’s marvels and an immense source of fascination for ornithologists and nature lovers.

A World Premiere
Imagine a bird, original enough to live in the cliffs, that looks as exotic as a hummingbird and which moves like a butterfly… This is the Wallcreeper.

A Unique Bird
The Wallcreeper is spread across Eurasia from Spain to China, elusive but is not shy, and mysterious because of its vertical life. For the first time ever, a film is dedicated to the Wallcreeper, its beauty and its incredible lifestyle. This very special bird is a real source of fascination for birders all around the world. Let’s discover it!

Stunning images
This documentary (26’) has a classical naturalist structure, but such an original subject doesn’t need more because its biology is so fascinating and the bird and the mountains where it lives are so beautiful. The movie follows the breeding from courtship to fledging and leads to wintering. It underlines why the Wallcreeper is such a very special creature. Discover also very rare images of the beauty of its flight, dust and sun bathing.

A Magic Foreword
«This bird is simply magic, in a word, a revelation.»
Extract from the foreword of the film by Lars Jonsson. Worldfamous bird painter and ornithologist, the Swede wrote us a very personal and powerful text that opens the movie.

The voice
We had the honour to work with a great professional to tell the story. Indeed, British actor Geoffrey Bateman studied at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London and has worked on many documentaries for the BBC.

Film Director
Ecologist, conservationist, and film maker, Frank Neveu lives in France. He dedicated three and a half years to shooting this documentary in the Alps.

Technical data

  • DVD zone zero (worldwide) movie
  • Total: 26’
  • total bonus: 19’30’’
  • stereo or 5.1 sound
  • natural version (no speaker)


  • making-of along the cliff with verticality and interviews with the film maker and helpers (18’)
  • webtrailer (1’30’’)