Winter and the Golden-Crowned Kinglet

Winter and the Golden-Crowned Kinglet

It’s simple physics. In a cold environment, small objects lose heat at a faster rate than large objects. This is why most warm-blooded animals that reside in a northern climate tend to be large in size. Yet, for every rule, there is always an exception and when considering birds, the golden-crowned kinglet is a perplexing anomaly.

The golden-crowned kinglet is the smallest perching bird to inhabit the Adirondacks, as this delicate, olive colored creature is not much larger than a hummingbird, (which is classified in a group that is related to the swifts rather than the perching birds.) However, unlike our other small birds, like the warblers, vireos and wrens, the kinglet often remains in the Adirondacks throughout the dead of winter, traveling in small, loosely knit flocks in dense evergreen forests.

The yellowish-green plumage of the golden-crowned kinglet makes this tiny bird a challenge to see against the backdrop of pine, spruce, fir and cedar boughs as it flits through the canopy in a constant search for food. Yet because the kinglet frequently emits an audible “teez, teez, teez” call as it forages, its presence can be easily noted by a perceptive individual, especially at this time of year, when the sound of the wind through the branches is the only noise that breaks the silence of the deep woods.

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