Golden-crowned Kinglet (Royalty in Miniature)

January 31, 2017

Missouri’s tiniest winter visitor, a golden-crowned kinglet, forages for insects in the briars and thickets of Blue Springs Creek Conservation Area in Crawford County.

I captured this image of a tiny, golden-crowned kinglet this morning while scouting for otters, minks, and other furry critters at Blue Springs Conservation Area. The golden-crowned kinglet is not only one of the smallest birds you’ll ever see in Missouri, almost a full inch shorter than the chickadee, it is also one of the most energetic. Flitting from limb to limb, often in thick brush, the kinglet is the nemesis of many photographers who aspire to capture a sharp image of one of these little fireballs.

I was fortunate to encounter a large group of kinglets this morning as I walked down Blue Springs Creek in my chest waders. They were in brambles so thick that I almost didn’t stop, but on an optimistic whim, I passed them and then turned around, back to the sun, and waited for a moment of good luck. It wasn’t long until one of the males, as indicated by the streak of orange in its yellow crown, came down to see what was what. At first I was frustrated at the kinglet’s propensity to stay deep in the vines and briars but a few “pishing” sounds brought it out for a nice look.



A golden-crowned kinglet gives me the, “Yeah, this is my crown,” look. 

The action only lasted a few minutes, before the entire group of kinglets moved downstream. I was left with a few brown creepers, another tiny bird, to hold my fascination for a while before I folded up the tripod and headed downstream myself.



A golden-crowned kinglet in the classic “dickey bird on a stick” pose. Note the orange streak within the yellow crown. This indicates that the bird is a male.

I sure was happy to meet up with these royal, winter visitors to Missouri this morning. Up until that time, I hadn’t fired a shot! “Never give up” is my motto, at least not until you have secured your equipment in the back of the car and you are headed down the highway.

Thanks for looking,

Danny Brown

Email me with questions/comments at:  Natureframes@Rocketmail.Com

Gallery of Images and Print Information:

“America is beautiful. I vote to keep it that way.”

6 comments on “Golden-crowned Kinglet (Royalty in Miniature)”

  1. Wading in a creek in late January! You deserve a nice reward even if it was the otter or mink you were after. Those are beautiful photos.

  2. The are no more spectacular colors than those that exist in nature, thanks for the look see!

    Sent from my Samsung Galaxy Tab®4

  3. Wonderful images. I have only once seen the yellow crown that gives the bird its name, and certainly my sightings have not been these kind of crisp, clear images!

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