Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A Fine Winter Surprise

Now here's a surprise for the new year!  BirdCam photographed this little character at the suet feeder.  It's a bird I haven't seen here in almost three years.  And that would be Regulus calendula, the Ruby Crowned Kinglet.  This species is a strictly winter bird in the southeast, perhaps from Long Island to Mexico but not much west of the Appalachians.  They summer on the other side of the continent.  They are incredibly active, hopping from spot to spot and are generally difficult to keep centered in binoculars.  And for a small bird, they are surprisingly fearless.  I've had them land at feeders just inches away.  The giveaway for me here is two field marks: the white eye ring and the olive drab color, neither of which the Pine Warbler possesses.  It's a wonderful surprise to see one again!

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