1. Ice Swimmer says

    Cute little dinosaur. Apparently, the European sister species, goldcrest (hippiäinen in Finnish​, which might be translated very loosely as “little thing” or “little one) is the smallest bird in Europe.

  2. Kengi says

    They were just passing through. I keep hoping to spot a male, but, so far, no luck. As usual, I left maps with directions to North Dakota and the promise of food there, so keep an eye out for them.

  3. says

    :D There are a whole lot of birds here who simply never make it to me, or they might show up once, then I never see them again. There may well have been female Kinglets here, they’d be hard to spot among all the finches, sparrows, and siskins. I still remember the *one* time a Lazuli Bunting showed up, and I’ve never seen one again. Same goes with a gorgeous little red-breasted Nuthatch. And the Red-bellied woodpecker.

    We have a population of House Wrens on property, and I hear them constantly, almost never see them, and have never gotten one photo. They won’t go anywhere near the feeding stations.

  4. Kengi says

    We get a lot of migratory birds because of the Fox River valley and the Chain of Lakes which it opens up into. It’s really a matter of luck getting anyone to stop by the house since the lakes open the valley up to a wide area. The kinglet brought our confirmed-seen-in-the-front-yard species count up to 32.

    We had a little red-breasted nuthatch that came by for about three weeks this winter, but never when I had the camera ready, and then it vanished. Our house wrens only like live bugs. I’ve tried putting live meal worms in a dish for them, but they never did come up to the feeder area. But I often see them darting in and out of the plants in the yard on bug hunts. Also hoping the meal worms attract bluebirds and catbirds, which I’ve seen nearby, but never at the house. I don’t have a catbird picture, but I do have an audio recording of one I ran across.

    We still have a batch of dark-eyed juncos hanging around, probably because of a stretch of cold weather in the 30’s we had for awhile (I remember fondly that week or more in mid February when it was in the 60’s and even over 70 a few times). But now the temps are going up again I expect to find them missing any day now for the season.

    And the blue herons and white egrets have returned! I’ll try to make some time to go looking for some in the shallows or fields near the lakes. They don’t stop by in our front yard. :-(

  5. quotetheunquote says

    Hi Kengi-
    Great close-ups! So nice to have a normally insectivorous bird such as this one come to the feeder, and be so co-operative.

    Now, the difficult part -- as in, time for ME to be difficult.

    Oops! wrong species. Ruby-crowned Kinglets are plump, olive-backed, little bitty birds with thin bills and super-thin “legs”. They also have very uneven wing-bars, the lower one being quite wide, the upper one being barely perceptable.
    Your bird has a relatively (as in, for an insectivore) thick bill, substantial “legs”, and is more yellow than a kinglet has any right to be. It is, in fact, a Pine Warbler (Setophaga pinus), one of the hardier of our North American warblers, and therefore one of the first back on migration.

    … and a great find! I have still yet to see on this year.

  6. Kengi says

    Thanks much for the identification. I spent a lot of time getting that one wrong! In real life the yellow didn’t seem quite as prominent and I wrote that off in the pictures to be partly reflection from the suet (at least on the underbelly). My guides failed to give me warblers as “similar”, so I never really went in that direction after the initial bad identification.

    I think I’ve seen black-and-white warblers in previous years, but was never sure. This is the first confirmed warbler for me in the area.

    Again, thanks much for the help!

  7. rq says

    The second and third pic look like a bird that didn’t get much sleep lately

    Basically me Sunday morning. You’d think spending the entire day running around (a) the cemetery; (b) the restaurant; (c) the museum and (d) the outdoor playground would stimulate sleeping in in children under the age of 10.
    You would be wrong.
    (Though I suppose I should be grateful it was just the two children accompanying me, and not all three, though if it had been all three, then Husband would have been present as backup. Annnnyway.)

    In all other pictures, the warbler appears to be doing much better than I am right now, the little cutie-pie.

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