My friends, the ruby-crowned kinglets!

ruby-crowned kinglet IMG_8776© Maria de Bruyn resAs I mentioned in November, ruby-crowned kinglets (Regulus calendula) are one of my favorite bird species. These tiny, yellowish bundles of energy are fascinating to watch as they perch on twigs, hover in mid-air by feeders and branches, and generally look delightful when they stop to catch a breath for a minute.

Adjusting your camera to be able to photograph them with the best speed and lighting can be quite challenging as their constant motion leads them in and out of the sun and above and below branches.

ruby-crowned kinglet IMG_9428© Maria de Bruyn ruby-crowned kinglet IMG_9419© Maria de Bruyn  ruby-crowned kinglet IMG_9377© Maria de Bruyn resruby-crowned kinglet IMG_9406© Maria de Bruyn res

ruby-crowned kinglet IMG_4734© Maria de Bruyn resOn a rainy day, they may sit still for a tiny bit longer but their flight is not impeded though they may look waterlogged.

This has been a good autumn and winter for my being able to photograph these adorable avians, not only in my yard at the feeders but also in venues such as the Jordan Lake woods, Mason Farm Biological Reserve and Sandy Creek Park. This blog will focus on some of the portraits I’ve been able to capture.



ruby-crowned kinglet IMG_0378© Maria de Bruyn resWhen they are flying around rapidly, you could mistake them for first-year, less brightly hued blue-winged warblers (Vermivora cyanoptera). That happened to me in South Carolina where I thought I had gotten a shot of a blue-winged warbler and instead saw a kinglet in the photo.

ruby-crowned kinglet IMG_0271© Maria de Bruyn res

ruby-crowned kinglet IMG_0272© Maria de Bruyn

The kinglets’ yellow-olive color, white wing bars, broken white ring around their eyes and fluttering flight help identify them. Very occasionally, you catch sight of the red crown or get a peek at a couple of the normally hidden red feathers.

ruby-crowned kinglet IMG_8791© Maria de Bruyn 2ruby-crowned kinglet IMG_4174 ©Maria de Bruyn res signed

The Latin species name, which means little king, has led to a number of “royal” terms for a group of kinglets: a castle, a court, and a princedom. My favorite, however, is a dynasty – a grand description for a collection of these tiny fliers.

ruby-crowned kinglet IMG_8747© Maria de BruynI think I might have a particular fondness for birds with black or dark legs and yellow feet. I love snowy egrets (Egretta thula) with their large feet resembling yellow rubber gloves and melt at the sight of those dainty kinglet feet.



It’s amazing to think of these small birds migrating to North Carolina from as far North as Canada and Alaska. Just think about how many wing-beats and how much energy this demands of these birds! I’m glad they make the trip though!

ruby-crowned kinglet IMG_0409© Maria de Bruyn res2 ruby-crowned kinglet IMG_3539©Maria de Bruyna”?

ruby-crowned kinglet IMG_5641©Maria de Bruyn resI hope you have found these photos as cute as I did – have a great day!

2 thoughts on “My friends, the ruby-crowned kinglets!

  1. I did find the photos exceptionally cute, and the kinglets and the blog have lightened up a particularly dull, rainy day in Cape Town!


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