Sunday, October 31, 2010

Golden-crowned Kinglets along the Little Miami Trail...

"Seeee, see, see, see" was in the air this morning as I walked along the Little Miami Trail, and it stopped me in my tracks. I love watching Golden-crowned Kinglets, and there is no mistaking their sweet, little call. It's high pitched, but it also seems loud emanating from such a teeny, weeny bird. At 4" it's just a little bigger than our Ruby-throated Hummingbird, but it's a whole lot rounder!

A Golden-crowned Kinglet is a fluffy little ball of energy!
The trail was deep in shadow where the kinglets were foraging, and unfortunately I had the ISO too low. The shutter was a bit slow, so blur and fuzz resulted, which was a shame because this little fireball was no sissy. She came within four feet of me as I stood still with my camera aimed at her. Four feet!! Oh well...maybe next time. I ended up just watching her as she moved quickly through the brush by the trail nabbing spiders, constantly on the move.

...you can tell our little Golden-crowned Kinglet is a female because her crown is bright yellow. Males have a bit of orange added in to the topknot.

...look at the size of that spider! With all the nonstop movements this little bird makes, she will burn those calories up in no time at all. "Supersize" works just fine for her.

...it looks like she's spied the spider web and has a plan to pick up another juicy, plump bite to eat.

...this is what most of my shots looked like--"SuperBird," moving faster than the speed of light from twig to twig as she gleans spiders and their eggs hidden from sight.

I don't know how many kinglets were about on the trail, but at one point, I was able to keep track of five while I heard others calling from both up the hill and down the hill. It was such a beautiful sound hearing so many of them moving through the trees, but that wasn't all. While I was photographing them, I could hear the mixed-flock calls of Carolina Chickadees and Tufted Titmice, the muffled knocking of Downy Woodpeckers, the soft, wintery "yank, yank" of a family of White-breasted Nuthatches, and the lovely sweet sound of a Brown Creeper...plus, in the distance, the strident scolding of a Carolina Wren, the harried cry of a Belted Kingfisher, the harsh sound of a pair of Pileated Woodpeckers, and the gentle sound of a few goldfinches. You can't ask for a better morning (well, maybe it could have been a little warmer...or maybe I could have worn an extra layer...but other than that, perfect).

A Brown Creeper spiraling up the tree while foraging with a mixed flock of Golden-crowned Kinglets, Chickadees, Tufted Titmice, Downy Woodpeckers, and White-breasted Nuthatches.

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32 comments:

grammie g said...

Hi Kelley...I know I should be in bed. : }
You got some real great pictures of the "Little puffball of energy"
How adorable is that!!

Kelly said...

...I'm not in bed either, grammie! You can usually find me up and working or painting till the wee hours.

Birding is Fun! said...

Wow! Really fantastic photos and fun and cute little birds. That spider in the mouth is a cool moment you were able to capture.

Elaine said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful walk! Those little birds are so hard to capture. If they would only sit still and pose! I do like the Superbird photo. It has a bit of a dreamlike effect to it.

Tammie Lee said...

I never thought about birds eating spiders.... some fun images... blurry and all.

gwendolen said...

Great pics Kelly. The Kinglets are very pretty. Love the superking photo. lol

mick said...

Great photos of the little Kinglet - even the blurred ones give a good impression of the speed of the bird. I like your description of the calls of all the other birds too.

dreamfalcon said...

LOL - to the "last" photo. But you did get some nice shots - I especially like the one with the spider in its beak

NatureFootstep said...

now I envy you. I have only seen the Golden-crowned Kinglets once. I managed to get a shot but a very poor one. This little bird was too fast for me. Glad to see your shots. :)

Dave said...

A great walk through the woods!

Jayne said...

What sweet little birds! Lucky you!

Chris said...

I just did not see this post! Nope, I'm closing my eyes! So hard to get this nice little fellow, how did you do ;-)

Kathy A. Johnson said...

What a cutie! I hope someday to be able to identify the birds I see and hear the way you do. It must be such a satisfying adventure to take a walk and know what you're observing!

JKoenig said...

Sweet, sweet pictures. Love how the colors in the background blend together...Those little Brown Creepers and really be hard to see.

Out on the prairie said...

Very nice discriptions and shots, a lovely little bird.I will look at the calls of her and the creeper to familiarize myself better..

Ann Nichols said...

So so pretty and amazing! Love this!
Ann
P.S.I just left a comment for you on your 100 challenge blog not realizing until after I wrote it that I was commenting to another wonderful artist! Oh my... But it really is so nice to 'meet' you!

Mermaid's Palette said...

I came to you from the 100 paintings Challenge (I am a fellow painter doing the challenge). These are beautiful photos!
Sheryl

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hey Girlie, I thought you were changing your lifestyle --and not going to stay up so late at night....... Hmmmmmmmm.... What's going on?????? ha ha

Beautiful little Kinglet... He looks a little like a yellow nuthatch.... What a cutie... I've never seen one.

Hugs,
Betsy

Warren Baker said...

Two familiar little woodland birds there Kelly :-)

As we birders get older, the first thing we lose is our ability to hear the high pitch calls of Birds :-(

Glad to see you still have A1 hearing kelly :-)

Mary Ann Gieszelmann said...

You sure do know your bird calls, Kelly. Makes me wish I were there!

Phil said...

Those Kinglets are so small and active I think you did well to get camera on them, never mind get such good shots Kelly.

Montanagirl said...

Kelly, The little Kinglet is so cute. Very beautiful little bird. That's a great walk you had!

Roy said...

The Kinglet, very like our Goldcrest a really colourful little bird Kelly, that first shot is great.

Shelley said...

I loved that little kinglet of yours - must've been fun to chase! I love that one photo of him eyeing that spider web - you know he's thinkiing yeah,this will lead me to another spider!

Laure Ferlita said...

What an adorable little ball of fluff!

Shouldn't she be the queenlet?!!

Love your Creeper too!

Anne McCormack said...

The bird in the second-to-last photo looks heroic with that rainbow background!

ShySongbird said...

Beautiful captures Kelly! What a pretty little bird the Golden-crowned Kinglet is and so much like its European cousins, our own Goldcrest and Firecrest.

Larry said...

Awesome shots of the Golden-crowned Kinglet Kelly! With the spider prey, amazing. The sounds that morning must have been incredible to witness and the Brown Creeper, a bonus!

Toni said...

Love your shots of the kinglet! They are so hard to capture.

Kelly said...

...thanks, everyone! I just love those little Golden-crowned Kinglets. Such little powerhouses and so much fun. The woods change so much in the winter and the mixed-flock sounds are always there when it's so cold. It's always comforting. This weekend felt like the woods in the winter. Rick told me snow is possible this weekend, so........

Jenny said...

I know just how you must've felt Kelly with all that song around you. It's also really nice to be able to put names to them too. I actually like the 'movement' in your photos. It gives a sense of the busy natures of these birds.

Kathiesbirds said...

A perfect morning indeed! I just saw my frist Golden-crowned kinglets here in MA yesterday at the bog! I hadn't seen any for over a year and a half and that was in WV!