A novice birder's observation of birds and other natural wildlife with wings ... or maybe not with wings...
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Golden-crowned Kinglet
Another small Mountain bird that nests in conifer forests and forages in low brush is the Ruby-crowned Kinglet. I was on the same bike path in Silverthorne, CO, as my 7-27 post of the Mountain Chickadee, when I must have come close to a nesting pair of these cute little Kinglets (only about 4" long) because they were vigorously chattering at me and never really strayed too far away. I have never seen a Kinglet before, and was lucky enough to see both a Ruby-crowned and Golden-crowned Kinglets (as beautiful as the Golden-crowns were, my photos of them were of poor quality); however, I was very pleased with my Ruby-crowns photos (Top Below, female, 7-6-10). In fact, if I didn't get the picture of the male (Below Bottom, 7-6-10) with the little patch of red feathers on its crown, I might have had a harder time identifying it correctly. I lucked out, because the "ruby" crown feathers are not always visible.
Just for the heck of it, I'll post a photo of one of the Golden-crowned Kinglets I tried to capture. I was on a hiking trail that the first two miles meandered through a dark deep conifer forest (on the way to Mohawk Lakes near Breckinridge, CO). There was a a pair of Golden-crowns flitting away high in the tree tops of a pine. They wouldn't stay still and stayed high in the tree. I waited for at least 15 minutes (Val will concur, she wondered where I was as she was far ahead of me on the trail) and probably took 30-40 shots, but the best I could get is below (7-6-10). You can see why I was dissappointed in not getting a better image as the bird is very beautiful with its golden crown glowing in a patch of sunlight. Even trying to process the "raw" image in Photshop and lightening up the pic by quite a large percentage, this is best I can offer. The challenges of bird photography. I don't know why the birds can't land in front of me and sit still. What are they thinking? I am not that menacing looking.
Both species of Kinglets flitted around constantly and would stay put for only a fraction of a second before flying to a new perch. The difference in the quality of my photos is purely proximity. I was only a couple of yards away from the Ruby-crowns, but was a good 100 feet or more from the Golden-crowns.
Hello, I have always been interested in birds, undoubtedly influenced by my mother and grandmother. As a young boy I remember paging through my parents' bird books. Both my Mom and Grandma would identify birds by both their songs and their looks. I enjoy nature and being out in it as often as I am able. Being a teacher helps - as I have much of the summer to do just that. I have done some nature and wildlife photography, but until a few years ago I never thought about photographing birds thinking that it would be too difficult - too small and too flighty. After a few thousand photos, my girlfriend suggested that I open a blog sharing some of the pictures that I have taken and hopefully will be taking in the future.
During the 3 years that have been writing this blog, I have graduated from my first camera, a Sony Digital, to my 2nd, a Canon Rebel T1i, to finally my 3rd and current camera - Canon EOS7D. I started with the standard 18-55mm lens, which I soon found was totally impractical. I then purchased a Canon 55-250mm which I used for quite some time, until I bought my current lens, Sigma 150-500mm.