The trees last weekend were full of both species of Kinglet.
Most times, these tiny little birds are hard to find and see. Their weak calls can be heard, but they seem invisible as they hang out in thick conifers like Jack Pine. In the fall they call constantly to each other as they forage on tiny insects.
There were several Brown Creepers mixed in with the crowd of Kinglets. Brown Creepers have a very similar sounding call to the Golden-crowned Kinglet. I wonder if these two species tend to migrate together? It was a good opportunity to compare the two calls. I’d heard that the two birds can be told apart by the sequential number of notes in the call, but I couldn’t remember which was what. I found out the Brown Creeper gives a single note call, while the Golden-crowned can call singly, but it’s always followed by a sequence of 2 or 3 call notes. Whew,
Here’s a pretty plain picture of a Ruby-crowned Kinglet. They are an overall gray with a complete eye-ring. Unfortunately, the above photo has the shadow from a twig going right through his eye.
Their call is completely different than the weak call of the Golden-crowned. In fact, their song is so loud, it’s hard to believe it is coming from a bird this tiny. Here is an example of their song: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Ruby-crowned_Kinglet/id Now, if you listened to the recording, there was a series of scolding type notes at the end. That is the sound you will hear in the fall, the singing notes are reserved for the Spring time of the year.
For most of the year, the Ruby-crowned Kinglet keeps his bright ruby red crest hidden, but in the Spring that is a different story. The photos below are from last Spring.
You can see where he gets his name!