Although the golden-crowned kinglet winters in Georgia, I rarely see it in my backyard. In fact, in recent years, I have not even heard one there. This is despite the fact it is located each year on the local Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge/Rum Creek Wildlife Management Area Bird Count. In spite of this, I have high expectations that my backyard golden-crowned kinglet drought will end this year.
I base my optimism on the fact that a couple of days ago I heard the golden-crowned kinglet’s high-pitched see-see-see call coming from the top of a tall loblolly pine growing in my backyard. Although, my efforts to catch a glimpse of the secretive songster failed, I have formulated a strategy to do so.
Whenever possible I will look for the bird in places where it is known to forage. Since I have most often seen the bird tirelessly moving about looking for insects and their eggs among pine needles high in the tops of pines, I will concentrate my search there. Knowing they sometimes hunt for food among hardwood branches and brush piles, I will scan them too. In addition, since during the winter they will occasionally feed on tiny seeds gleaned from plants growing in weedy patches I will also checkout the untamed, weedy areas along my property line.
Last, but not least, I will carefully study each tiny bird that visits my suet and peanut butter feeders. More than likely, any that I see will by rubycrowns, however, there is always the outside chance one will be the golden-crowned because they will, on rare occasions, dine on these foods.
Even if I am not successful in seeing one of these fascinating winter visitors, I am sure I will spot other birds that I would have otherwise missed if I was not spending so much time looking for this tiny olive-gray bird that dons a crown of gold.
If you have seen golden-crowned kinglets in your yard, I would enjoy hearing about your good fortune.