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Posts Tagged ‘kinglet’

Some birds are so round in appearance that they look more like cartoons than real birds. That was certainly the case with this tiny Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Regulus calendula) that I spotted last week at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Golden-crowned Kinglets (Regulus satrapa) are tiny, but they can be mighty fierce. This one that I spotted yesterday at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge seemed to be sending me a definite  “Don’t mess with me” message with its intense glare in my direction.

Golden-crowned Kinglet

 

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Despite his diminutive size, this male Golden-crowned Kinglet (Regulus satrapa) seemed to have plenty of attitude when I spotted him on Monday at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge.

Size is relative, of course, but by almost any standard Golden-crowned Kinglets are tiny. The are about 3-4 inches (8 to 10 cm) in length and weigh only 0.1 to 0.3 ounces (4 to 8 gm). Their small size and hyperactivity make them a fun challenge to photograph.

I particularly like this bird’s combative stance and the way that it provides us with such a good view of its bright yellow “crown.” It is one of the rare occasions when I got an unobstructed shot of a kinglet—normally there are branches blocking at least part of the view.

Golden-crowned Kinglet

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Last weekend I again visited the bird banding station at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge and was thrilled to see the friendly folks there process a pair of Golden-crowned Kinglets (Regulus satrapa), which are among the smallest birds in our area. Bands come in all different sizes and kinglets require the absolutely smallest-sized bands.

Here are some shots of the encounter including the initial processing of the bird; the actual banding of the bird (note its tiny legs); examination of the feathers of the bird; and the moment before the release of one of the little birds by a young visitor.

I love the fact that I was able to get so much closer to the bird and see so many wonderful details about its feathers and coloration than I would ever be able to do in the wild. As the old saying goes, “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.”

Golden-crowned Kinglet

Golden-crowned Kinglet

Golden-crowned Kinglet

Golden-crowned Kinglet

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

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Golden-crowned Kinglets (Regulus satrapa) are not woodpeckers, but a tiny kinglet that I spotted this past weekend at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge seemed to be doing its best imitation of one as it pecked away at a little branchlet.

For those of you who are not familiar with Golden-crowned Kinglets, they are really, really small birds. According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology website, these kinglets are 3.1-4.3 inches in length ( 8-11 cm) and weigh only 0.1-0.3 oz (4-8 gm). It is always exciting to spot a kinglet and always a challenge to get a unobstructed, in-focus shot of one.

Golden-crowned Kinglet

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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I photographed this cute little Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Regulus calendula) yesterday at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge. The angle and exaggerated proportions make this kinglet look almost like a Disney cartoon to me.

If you have never seen one, Ruby-crowned Kinglets are tiny, even smaller than chickadees. They seem restless and are in perpetual motion, hopping from branch to branch and flicking their wings almost constantly, so I am happy whenever I am able to photograph one.

I can’t help but smile when I look at the photo and it almost looks to me like the tiny bird is smiling.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Under normal circumstances, Rub-crowned Kinglets (Regulus calendula) are described as “stocky” or “chubby” or “compact.” In cold weather, when they fluff up their feathers to retain heat, they amazingly grow even rounder in shape. These round balls of fluff bounce from branch to branch as they frenetically forage for food, reminding me of the pinball games that I used to play in my youth.

 

I was thrilled last Friday at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge when this male Ruby-crowned Kinglet paused for a split-second on a branch and I was able to capture this image. I love the tilt of his head, the contrast between the curves of his body and the angular lines of his bill and wings, and the wonderful little details like the glimpse of his ruby crown and the peek  at his tiny little feet.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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