About those Ruby-crowned Kinglets


It has been a long time since I have written about the Ruby-crowned Kinglets.  I tried to see some yesterday morning but they were not to be found.  So I am going to write about them anyway.  These photos were taken about a year ago, and I took them from my archives.  They are tiny birds.  They flit around in thick underbrush.  They think they can hide from my long lens.  To actually get the images showing the ruby colored spot on the head of the male was a bonus.  It is usually concealed.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

In actuality, I was only about 25 feet away from him, sitting in my car/blind.   At the Cottonwood Campground in Big Bend National Park there is an area along the boundary of the area where there is fence that is partly obscured by thick vines and brush.  I brought my car close and drove very, very slowly at a silent idling speed along the area.  I was constantly looking into the brush with my binoculars.

We finally noticed a lot activity in the dense foliage.  We stopped and silently watched the kinglets and some other sparrow types hassling  each other.  I had my Canon EOS 7D with a 100-400mm zoom lens at the ready.  I spotted one kinglet throught the viewfinder and tracked him through branches, trying to catch him at a brief stop.  That is the only way one is going to get a photograph.  To make it easier, I set the focus so I was using only one center focus point.  Otherwise, the lens goes wild trying to get the bird in focus between the vines and twigs.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Enjoy the photos and click on any of them to see enlargements.

On the subject of birding, Ann and I are on a quest to see at least 210 birds this year.  Our previous annual record is 194 and we feel that if we stay alert we can get to our new goal.  We are off to a good start.  Here is our list for the first four days of the new year.  I will update you as we go. 41 is our current total.

  1. Mute Swan
  2. Gadwell
  3. American Wigeon
  4. Mallard
  5. Northern Shoveler
  6. Redhead
  7. Ring-necked Duck
  8. Lesser Scaup
  9. Bufflehead
  10. Hooded Merganser
  11. Pied-billed Grebe
  12. Eared Grebe
  13. Double-crested Cormorant
  14. Great Blue Heron
  15. Great Egret
  16. Black Vulture
  17. Osprey
  18. Red-tailed Hawk
  19. American Coot
  20. Killdeer
  21. Ring-billed Gull
  22. White-winged Dove
  23. Great-horned Owl
  24. Golden-fronted Woodpecker
  25. Ladder-backed Woodpecker
  26. Eastern Phoebe
  27. Vermilion Flycatcher
  28. Black-crested Titmouse
  29. Eastern Bluebird
  30. Western Bluebird
  31. Northern Mockingbird
  32. Curve-billed Thrasher
  33. European Starling
  34. Yellow-rumped Warbler
  35. White-crowned Sparrow
  36. Northern Cardinal
  37. Western Meadowlark
  38. Common Grackle
  39. Great-tailed Grackle
  40. House Finch
  41. House Sparrow
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27 thoughts on “About those Ruby-crowned Kinglets

  1. What adorable little birds! Those are superbly sharp pics, especially in such a tangle of twigs. Good luck with your goal for 2014 – you are already doing well. We could probably count the number of species seen here on one hand, so far! To be fair, the weather so far has been very bad for birdwatching!

    • Thank you very much, Judy. I don’t mean to get ahead of you. We aren’t in a race, really. Just trying to get to a goal. You will catch me before long. All of the birds I am seeing now are all of the old regulars, but it will get more difficult as the year goes by. But ain’t it fun??? 🙂

        • I saw Number 42, (Northern Pintailed) this morning after breakfast. LOL 🙂

          Yes I will be interested in seeing the differences in species. You will see a lot of birds that I will never see here, and vice versa. It will be interesting to see what our combined total will look like. 🙂 I am shooting for 210.

  2. Bob, Although hummingbirds and painted buntings are hard to beat, I do believe these Ruby-crowned Kinglets give them a run for their money. TOOOOO cute! Thanks for capturing them to share with us. Cheers, Denise

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