For quite some time, the birds I have seen or heard in my backyard are those are permanent residents.  However, today one of the migratory birds that regularly spends the winter in my yard made its first appearance this fall. The bird I am referring to is the ruby-crowned kinglet.

       I spotted the tiny, greenish-gray bird flitting among the dark green leaves of a sasanqua growing near my garage. I was not surprised to see it there.  Most of the times that I see one, I spot it foraging for tiny insects, spiders, and the like in one of the many shrubs that are scattered around my backyard.  Although ruby-crowned kinglets are known to also dine on tree sap, and berries such as those produced by poison, dogwood, I have never seen them do so.

       I have never tried to attract kinglets to my feeders.  However, each winter I see them dining on peanut-flavored bird butter.  One year, I witnessed a ruby-crowned kinglet digging through white millet seeds; however, I cannot say I actually saw it eat one. However, others have reported them eating peanut hearts, chips of sunflower seeds and nuts.  They also dine on peanut butter.  Their winter diet also includes human delicacies such as cornbread and doughnuts.

       Since the birds are, in most cases, infrequent visitors to our feeders, even if you have never seen one feeding there, if you have thick shrubs around your home, chances are this tiny bird is a winter resident in your yard too.  



  1. The kinglets arrived here about ths same time as other winter visitors, song sparrows, white throated sparrow, house wrens, and more eastern phoebes.

    • Camm ,
      Thanks for sharing your observations. This is an exciting time of the year. I have recorded a new bird each of the last three days.


      • Also had a large toad come out last night while counting bats from our “bat house;” I thought the toads were aestivating for the winter by now with our several frosty morningns a week or so ago.

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