Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Fit for a King(let)

A year or two ago we got the idea to attach a suet feeder to a block of wood and fasten it to the balcony railing, to allow the birds who are not so good at grasping and dangling by their toes greater access to the suet. It was intended mostly for bluebirds, but I have yet to see one on it. We have seen any number of other birds, from downy woodpeckers and flickers to Carolina wrens, using it.

The other day I was passing through the living room and glanced out the doorwall to the balcony. I saw a lone bird on the tray feeder, who looked much like a goldfinch at first glance. But a dark stripe on its head made me pause. As I looked closer I realized it was a golden-crowned kinglet!

I scrambled for the camera (yes, this happens a lot around here). By the time I got back over to the doorwall, the bird was no longer on the feeder. Poop. But then I leaned to my left and saw him on the suet. Yay! I started snapping pictures through the screen, as this is a bird I had seen only once and had no photos of--I wanted to make sure I got something.

Golden-crowned kinglet. I kind of like the sparkle effect the screen gives the highlights.

After about eight shots I moved the camera over to shoot through the glass. He had hopped down and was trying to reach the suet from the side.

His short insect-nabbing beak made it hard to reach the suet.

 He posed oh so prettily for one good shot, then was gone.

Two days later, at about the same time of day, the same thing happened. There he was, going at the suet, the only bird on the balcony. I wonder, maybe he doesn't like the crowds? At any rate, I was able to get a few more photos before he was off again. What a sweet face!


  1. I have never heard of this bird--I would have thought it was a Gold Finch too. Nice photos.

    1. Thanks Judy. It pays to have one's camera at hand!