Like a Butterfly

L’OISEAU PAPILLON, la vie incroyable du Tichodrome

© C. Sidamon-Pesson

LIKE A BUTTERFLY – The incredible life of the Wallcreeper

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

  • A Unique Bird
    The Wallcreeper is spread across Eurasia, from Spain to China, elusive but not shy and mysterious because of its vertical life. For the very first time in the world, a film is dedicated to the Wallcrepper. Its beauty, its incredible lifestyle. This very special bird is a real fascination for many birders all around the world. Let’s discover it.
  • Stunning images
    This documentary (26’) has a classical naturalist structure, but such an orignal subject doesn’t need too much: its bio- logy is so fascinating and the bird as the mountains are so beautiful. The movie follows the breeding from courtship to fledging
and leads to wintering. It underlines why the Wall- creeper is a so very special creature. Discover also the beauty of the flight as dust and sun bathing, very rare images.
  • A Magic Foreword
    «This bird is simply magic, in a word, a revelation.»
    Extract of the foreword of the film by Lars Jonsson. World- famous bird painter and ornithologist, the Swede wrote us a very personnal 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 made the Central School of Speech and Drama in London and worked for many documentaries as for the BBC.
  • Film Director
    Ecologist, conservationist, and film maker, Frank Neveu lives in France. He spends three years and a half to shoot this documentary in the Alps.
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 as shaped by the rhythm of the days, seasons, climatic variations and meetings with its neighbours on the rock faces.

Somewhere in the Alps, 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 is to live ON the rock and benefit 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.
screening of 'like a butterfly' at the 'Abbeville Bird and Nature Festival 2013' on the 25th april
Cast & Crew
Produced by
Salamandre film
Philippe Belin (CH), Salamandre Films
Frank Neveu (F)
Line producer
Laurent Willenegger (CH), Salamandre Films and artist
Line producer advisor
Vincent Chabloz (CH)
Film advisor
Jean-Michel Bertrand (F), film maker
Film editor
Anne Buxerolle (F), long worked for Ushuaïa nature and painter
Official wallcreeper photographer
Christophe Sidamon-Pesson (F) Nature photographer
Guy Rondi (F)
Scientific advisor
Lionel Maumary (CH), ornithologist and excursionist
Nature sound
Boris Jollivet (F)
Alpinist and naturalist
Jean Guillet (F)
Original music
Thomas Jeker
The voice
Geoffrey Bateman (GB/F)
Baptiste Pfeiffer (CH)
Audio: Like a butterfly (exerpts from the stereo version)

01.15 // 3mb

01.24 // 3.4mb

01.42 // 4.1mb

01.23 // 3.4mb

01.50 // 4.4mb

00.36 // 1.4mb

00.48 // 1.9mb

00.52 // 2.1mb

01.08 // 2.7mb

02.32 // 6.1mb

01.44 // 4.2mb

01.18 // 3.1mb

Like a Butterfly