Thursday, November 09, 2006

Noting Birds

I've been trying to watch for the last kinglet--so much more difficult than watching for the first. But maybe today? I was in Vanderwater Conservation Area (just east of the hamlet) for a walk (avoiding the deer hunters--the gun season opened here on Monday), and there they were, a small flock of kinglets, of which I could identify a couple of Golden-crowned, but didn't see them all well enough to be sure that there weren't a few Ruby-crowned among them. I'm learning to tell them apart by call, I think. The calls are very similar to my ear, but the Golden-crowned seems to be stronger, and wider (i.e., not so thready) than the Ruby. I'm so good that usually when I hear one, if I think, oh, that's a Golden, it turns out to be so. But not so good that I can say when hearing a bunch calling together that they are all one or the other or both. But Ruby or not, I'm marking this, November 9, as the current candidate for last kinglets.

But it's time for FeederWatch, so much easier than trying to mark lasts. I'll join John of A DC Birding Blog, and Mike of 10,000 Birds in recommending this bit of citizen science to anyone in North America with a bird feeder. The protocol is simple--the data collected by the feeder watchers is important. Go to FeederWatch at Cornell Ornithological in the US or Bird Studies Canada in Canada to sign up.

But before you do, be sure to visit the wonderful I and the Bird #36, hosted by Roger of Words and Pictures to read about other noteworthy birds and bird events from around the world.

I and the Bird


John B. said...

Since I think of kinglets as purely winter birds, I did not realize that they did not stay as far north as you. But now that I look at a map, I see that I should not be surprised.

Pamela Martin said...

According to Sibley's we might have some year-round Golden-crowned kinglets here or not too far south of here, though I haven't seen them as winter residents. Golden-crowned breed in my area, but you have to be pretty lucky to see them in the breeding season. They're seen most when they're on the move, particularly in the fall. The Ruby-crowned is just seen as a migrant here, spring and fall.