Take Time to Listen and Look for the Quiet Things

There is a tiny “jewel of a bird” that is called the RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET. It is very common. The only problem is that it is seldom observed. It’s not a species that is very noticeable. You have to be aware of it and open your senses to realize that it is close and observable. LISTEN for a loud and varied song. It starts with 2 to 3 high pitched “tsees”, followed by 5 to 6 lower “turs”, and ending with”tee-de-lett”. LOOK for a dull, olive-green bird that’s only slightly bigger than a hummingbird – one of the smallest in America. It has noticeable white eye rings and white wing bars.

The red crown is not usually visible, except when the male is courting. Nesting occurs in a hanging cup, suspended from a conifer branch. The female lays a large clutch of eggs (5 to 11) that might weigh as much as she does.

This insectivore favors coniferous woodlands where it forages for food among the leaves of woody plants. It’s a very active species that flicks its tail and moves through trees faster than one can focus a camera on it. Sapsuckers (a type of woodpecker) peck out sap wells in tree trunks. The sweet, oozing sap is highly favored by this bird.

We were in luck one day in Reno, Nevada’s Oxbow Nature Study Area. We noticed kinglets coming to a bush just before dropping down to drink at a pond. Carolyn rushed and brought me a chair. By sitting patiently, this photo was obtained. The birds didn’t seem to mind our presence.

The quiet things are all around
	But you don’t notice, there’s so little sound
So when you’re about ‘moungst shrubs or wings
	Take time to listen and look for the quiet things!
Regulus calendula

Regulus calendula

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