Posted by: atowhee | October 12, 2021


Today I noticed a true sign of autumn in our garden. Not the first heavy rains of the season, nor yellow and scarlet leaves floating down from deciduous trees, not the many walnuts a neighbor’s ancient tree bombards onto our back garden, nor the lack of swallows in the sky–no, this is a tiny sign we are past that transition from summer straight-ahead to autumnal reversal and slow-down. There was a peppy Ruby-crowned Kinglet in and about the rose bushes, ignoring the dozens of goldfinches and handful of juncos feedign on the groiund and it the hanging feeders. No hand-outs for this bird, down fro m the mountain forests where kinglets spend their summers hereabouts. Lilley this kinglet or one of the cousins will in and about this garden until April.

Did you know there are only six species of kinglet across the Earth? Two are in North America, two in Eurasia (both of which I have seen–Firecrest and Goldcrest in the British language). The other two are island endemics–one on Taiwan and one in the Canary Islands.

Here’s a glancing shot I got one previous winter day–the kinglet is not known for stasis at any time:

Unlike the ruby-crown, the Golden-crowned Kinglets generally run in flocks when they show up in the winter, sometimes even letting a red-headed relative hang out with their tribe.

954 Ratcliff Drive SE, Marion, Oregon, US
Oct 12, 2021
10 species

Northern Flicker  1
California Scrub-Jay  X
American Crow  X
Black-capped Chickadee  1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet  1     first of season
Red-breasted Nuthatch  1
Bewick’s Wren  1
American Goldfinch  60
Dark-eyed Junco  6
Song Sparrow  1

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