Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Close Encounters of the Kinglet Kind

One of my favorite Winter Texans is the Ruby-crowned Kinglet.  This Little One is a frequent companion to me, as I quietly bird the winter trails of Brazos Bend and other wooded parklands.

The problem with photographing the RC Kinglet is the same as with the Gnatcatcher:  this little one never, EVER seems to sit still; and they don’t come out to greet me, at trail’s edge, when they are in their hidden stillness of sleep.

The second problem with photographing these Little Ones is when they do greet me, they are often within five feet of my stand-still position.  Too close for my lens to acquire focus. 

Sometimes I find myself falling backwards in attempt of a close-range photo.  But mostly I’ve learned to leave my camera at my side, and leave my binoculars around my neck, and just use my eyes to watch these delightful little kings (Kinglets) and queens (I would have named them Queenlets!) that frequently show their ruby-feathered crown.

This set of photos won’t win awards for close range detailing.  But I was tickled to get the “look and feel” so uniquely Kinglet with these close-range photos.
First, a “regular photo” of the Ruby-crowned Kinglet, in his matching living room:

And my close encounters, of the Kinglet kind (how can this Feathered One not bring a smile?):

When I first began birding, and first faced distinguishing the Kinglet from other Little Ones, I thought of Kinglets as the Little Ones with a “bar and a half” on their wings.  Experienced birders are good at noting wing bars; the number, the slant, the distinctive look, and so on.  As a beginning birder (before the RC Kinglet became a familiar friend in look and voice), I made up the concept of a wing “bar and a half.”

These last two photos show a hint of the ruby crown:

May your New Year's Eve be birdy!


  1. I like the looks of these birds, but their body language is my favorite with the way that they flit around! You did very well to get these wonderful photos!

  2. Thank you,mam! I too love the cheerful body language of kinglets--complete with a bit of a pot belly to add to a contented look.


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