Could these gorgeous green-and-red birds pick a better time to flit through Seattle? Just now, when the garden is getting truly soaked and turning brown, the flutter, life and animation of little birds is so very welcome. And we could take a lesson in holiday decorating from their showy yet slightly subdued coloration. Skip the glitz and be inspired by a feather palette this year...doesn't their innate and natural beauty make glitter and sparkle look, well....tacky??
Ellen Blackstone of BirdNote (you can find many more beautiful bird photos and videos on BirdNote's website) - sent these photos along. She saw a female Ruby-crowned Kinglet at her suet feeder the other day. "The female in particular could be confused with a Golden-crowned Kinglet or a Hutton's Vireo, both of which you might see in Seattle in the winter. Check the eye-ring and consult a field guide to be sure which you're seeing," advises this expert.
Another great charm of these birds is their amazingly long, complex song, which we won't start hearing until early spring. (Not so much to sing about in the dark days of winter?). By summer, Ruby-crowned Kinglets have mostly moved on, nesting at higher elevations. So use bird-watching as your excuse to get a dose of fresh air, get out there and keep your eyes peeled..
Learn more on this BirdNote video about the Ruby-crowned Kinglet. And enjoy Gregg Thompson's photos of this jaunty bird -
The male with his red buzz cut...
And a quizzical female..