Posted by: atowhee | November 22, 2016


We commoners rarely have to deal with royalty.  We’re unlikely to ever encounter any titled and entitled personage from Denmark, Bhutan, Britain or even Saudi Arabia. As birders we do come across summering kingbirds, those compact tyrants of fence row and field. Now in fall and winter here in the Oregon lowlands we can find ourselves facing Regulus in precisely the right places…trees required.  In the past two days I have met with  both Regulus calendula and Regulus satrapa. The former is the Ruby-crowned Kinglet, the latter is the Golden-crowned.  “Crowned” not crested, headed, pated, scalped or other synonym, but definitely “crowned” as befits a “Regulus.”

“Calendula”  apparently refers go this bird’s seasonal appearance and then disappearance, as dependably as a date on a calendar.  The Goldebn-crowned is not only Regulus but also a satrap or Persian ruler.  King of kings if you will.  Kinglets rule.  You obey.

The Ru by-crowned is a winter loner, not sharing territory with his fellow Ruby-crowns.  He will often forage with other gleaners: chickadees, Bushtits, Juncos, nuthatches, woodpeckers and wrens.  The Golden-crown is more gregarious, usually traveling in small nomadic flocks outside of breeding season.

Just yesterday at Wennerberg Park the dog and I were soundly scolded by Calendula. We’re simple commoners, bot even owning enough casinos to be President. The kinglet’s harsh notes alerted us to his presence.  He lets us know we peons were not welcomed near his bush.  Her shooed us along without even having to show his royal ruby crown.

Just a little further along our walk we found a busy little flock of Golden-crowns.  They were far above us, in every sense.  I followed with my commoner’s lens and managed to capture one royal flutter:gcki-in-flit1gcki-in-flit2

Our garden at 820 NW 19th Street, McMinnville, Yamhill, Oregon, US
Nov 22, 2016 7:15 AM. 15 species

Cackling Goose (Branta hutchinsii)  X
Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)  X
Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)  X
Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens)  1
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)  1
California Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica)  1
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)  X
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)  2
Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Regulus calendula)  1
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  1
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  X
Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis)  20
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)  1
Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus)  1
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)  X

Wennerberg Park, Carlton, OR, Yamhill, Oregon, US
Nov 21, 2016 10:05 AM – 10:50 AM.  14 species

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)  X
Anna’s Hummingbird (Calypte anna)  1
Acorn Woodpecker (Melanerpes formicivorus)  3
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)  1
California Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica)  1
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)  X
Common Raven (Corvus corax)  X
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)  2
White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis)  1
Bewick’s Wren (Thryomanes bewickii)  2
Golden-crowned Kinglet (Regulus satrapa)  4
Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Regulus calendula)  1
Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis)  30
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)  1

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