Saturday, October 27, 2012

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Constantly in motion and tiny to begin with, the Ruby-crowned Kinglet is a challenge to capture in pictures. 

Given their preference for the tallest trees, finding one near the ground is a lucky find.  

This is a male.  You can tell by the tiny red line on the top of his head.  It is a crest, but only when he wants it to be and that’s usually when he’s agitated.  He appeared to be agitated this day with a continuous flicking of his wings combined with a constant bouncing from twig to twig, but evidently he wasn’t. On this warm day in October, he kept his red crest closed and almost completely out of sight.  I’m not sure what it takes to agitate a Ruby-crowned Kinglet, but I didn’t meet that standard this day.

Ruby-crowned Kinglets are insect-eaters, preying mainly on spiders, wasps, aphids and ants.  The female can lay 5-12 small eggs (0.02 oz) with a combined weight that out-weighs the female herself, according to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.  That’s quite an accomplishment for a 0.2-0.4 ounce bird.