Please feel free to comment, correct me if I am wrong, or provide helpful tips of any kind

Nature in it's glory

Nature in it's glory

Oct 23, 2012

Delightful winter bird

Winter has arrived ever so slowly, we've had snow.  It didn't stay long, but we definitely have frost and cold.  On Monday morning I was restless.  My feet took me down the street despite the cold and wind.   Migration is pretty much over for us, which always leaves me a little sad, although I'm still seeing the odd Robin.  Robins sometimes overwinter.  Hopefully this means that our winter will be mild compared to most years.

I entered the little forest  thinking I would at least get some photos of Chickadees or another species of the local bird population. I was greeted almost immediately by this Juvenile male Northern Flicker.  He didn't seem at all shy and let me take several dozen photos before he flew to a more distant perch.  The forest was very quiet for a while, and then I could hear Chickadees calling somewhere near the heart of the forest, so I immediately headed there.
Male Juvenile Flicker
Northern Flicker
Northern Flicker, yellow shafted

Sure enough there were lots of Chickadees here.  Oddly enough I couldn't get a single photo, however I did get photos of some birds that were smaller than the Chickadee but I thought for sure they wouldn't turn out.  You see these tiny little birds moved almost as fast as a humming bird would and when I moved just the slightest bit they disappeared. 

I went home puzzled and immediately turned on my computer to do a search while my photos were uploading.  What bird could possibly be smaller than a Chickadee?  It turns out that I got two photos of these birds, which were good enough for identification purposes and had me grinning from ear to ear.  They are Golden Crowned Kinglets.  I never in my wildest dreams expected to see this bird here, but it turns out the Golden Crowned Kinglet winters in the north, from Alberta all the way to Alaska.

Golden Crowned Kinglet 1
Golden Crowned Kinglet 2

Today I went out again, hoping I would spot the little beauties one more time.  There were lots of Downy Woodpeckers.  All very busy gathering their breakfast.  In fact there seemed to be an abundance of Downy Woodpeckers.  There were also many White breasted Nuthatch amongst the Chickadees.
Downy Female
Downy Male
White Breasted Nuthatch
Nuthatch and Downy female

I was in the forest for quite some time and didn't spot the Kinglets.  My hands were beginning to hurt from the cold and the wind was picking up again.  I thought perhaps the Kinglets had moved on to go further north.  I was heading home when I spotted movement low to the ground amongst the bushes on the side of the main trail. 

I froze, except to raise my camera and waited.  Sure enough there they were.  Two tiny little Golden Crowned Kinglets.  They were in constant motion and the dense bushes made them difficult to see, despite a lack of leaves, which made it hard to focus the camera.

In the end I moved forward inadvertently and again they disappeared, leaving me disappointed.  Again I thought for sure that I missed every single shot and went home thinking that if I saw them once, I will see them again sometime, even if it isn't until next year.

Golden Crowned Kinglet in glorious detail
Golden Crowned Kinglet checks me out

I'm sure all my neighbors heard my whoop of joy, when I discovered that I again had two photos of these adorable little beauties, only this time in great detail and full color.  I guess it is time to invest in a warm pair of gloves and a tripod, cold or not I intend to head out again as often as possible.  Who knows what bird I will spot next.



  1. Great photos of the tricky to capture kinglet, Susan!

  2. Congrats on getting images of the Kinglets, they are so hyper and always on the move Susan!