The Ruby-crowned Kinglet is an incredibly interesting and gorgeous little bird that travels around North America like a rich Canadian. How so? This tiny little bird spends its summer in the EXTREME northern regions of Canada. But, before the cold, wintry, arctic weather settles in on its breeding ground- it flies south to spend its winters in the southern portions of the United States (as well as throughout Mexico.) Just like many Canadians. Pretty cool, aye?
My family and I reside in North Alabama. One day in November, as I was watching the birds from my kitchen window, I noticed a Golden-crowned Kinglet flitting about in the branches of a tree. So I hurriedly grabbed my camera and attached a 400mm telephoto lens and rushed outside- but the Golden-crowned Kinglet was nowhere to be seen. As I was searching for it, I happened to spy this little bird hopping from branch to branch in a nearby tree. Upon seeing the pretty red cap on its head- I realized that both the Golden-crowned Kinglets and the Ruby-crowned Kinglets were visitors to our yard this year. According to the Cornell birding site- the males are the only ones with the red caps. They display that red cap infrequently. So, I guess I was fortunate to catch a glimpse of the red coloration on its head.
The Ruby-crowned Kinglet is tiny. How tiny are these birds? They only weigh 5 - 10 grams. As I was unable to equate the weight of 5-10 grams with anything- I performed a Google search for the weight in grams of a penny and quarter. At the Ruby-crowned Kinglet's lightest weight of 5 grams- it would weigh the same as 2 United States pennies. At its heaviest listed weight of 10 grams it would be just a tad lighter than 2 United States quarters. Imagine that, the weight of only 2 pennies!
The Cornell birding site mentions another amazing fact about these birds- the female lays an amazingly large clutch of eggs. How large? The entire clutch of eggs may weigh as much as the female herself! Imagine a 120 lb lady having to give birth to a 120 lb baby or 120 lbs of babies! It sounds impossible, doesn't it?
But, that's nature for us- an amazing place filled with amazing life.