Search Results for "ruby-crowned"

  • Ruby-crowned Kinglet

    By Peter Pierson Broken dark clouds drop lower as they pass across Granite Mountain, bringing rain, then, as the storm moves in from the west, what is being projected to be the heaviest snowfall in two or three years here in the Central Highlands. The pending storm brings out the usual visitors in numbers. Juncos, siskins, chipping sparrows, and house finches rotate between the tray and the feed spilled on the ground. Amidst the ground feeders, the distinct black-and-white-striped crown of a lone white-crowned sparrow stands out. Red-breasted nuthatches and juniper titmice pluck through sunflower seeds amidst a wave of chattering bushtits. An orange-crowned warbler waits while a pair of yellow-rumped warblers feed at a suet station. Brilliant sunlight pokes from between the dark, moisture-laden clouds, illuminating a flash of red in a juniper. It’s a ruby-crowned kinglet, although ruby does not quite do it justice on a day like this. The tiny bird, second, with its close relation the golden-crowned kinglet, in its diminutive status only to the hummingbirds, moves its way down the branches towards the suet. “Nervous,” as described in guidebooks, this tiny bundle of metabolism flits down the tree, branch by branch, not staying in one place long enough to get a bead on it with the binoculars. Its distinctive long, continuous, babbling song may be heard well before the first hints of dawn. Here in

  • October diet changes

    By Eric Moore Many changes take place in the natural world during October. Most notable is the onset of freezing temperatures. As morning temperatures drop, there’s a ripple effect throughout nature. Insect populations began to die off and birds begin shifting their diet to seeds, nuts and berries. This change occurs so gradually and naturally that it’s almost imperceptible. Birdseed consumption and activity at suet feeders increases as insect populations diminish and the days grow shorter. In October, fall migrants such as Dark-eyed Juncos, White-crowned Sparrows, Yellow-rumped Warblers, and Ruby-crowned Kinglets begin showing up at backyard bird feeding stations in large numbers. Having traveled hundreds of miles, these migratory birds need to refuel to survive. Make sure your feeders are stocked with fresh seed and suet to greet the arriving songbirds who’ll winter here. ***** Eric Moore is owner of Jay’s Bird Barn, 1046 Willow Creek Road in Prescott. Contact him at Eric@JaysBirdBarn.Com

  • September’s migrators

    By Eric Moore Shorter days and cooler temperatures help usher in fall migration. September is a great time to get outdoors and go bird-watching. One of the best places to witness the daily ebb and flow of bird migration is Willow Lake and the surrounding grassy habitat. Migrating shorebirds, ducks, gulls, terns, and pelicans use Willow Lake as a refueling point. Many of these water-dependent species are traveling thousands of miles from their breeding grounds in North America to destinations in Mexico, Central America, and even South America. Frequent visits to the lake reveal the changing dynamics of bird migration, with a variety of species arriving and departing each day. Changes in backyard birds will occur too with the departure of hummingbirds and the arrival of wintering species such as White-crowned Sparrows, Dark-eyed Juncos, Yellow-rumped Warblers, and Ruby-crowned Kinglets. ***** Eric Moore is owner of Jay’s Bird Barn, 1046 Willow Creek Road in Prescott. Contact him at Eric@JaysBirdBarn.Com

Celebrating art and science in Greater Prescott.

↓ More ↓