My lifetime front/back yard bird list is now at fifty, following today’s sighting of the Ruby-crowned Kinglet.


Not a great picture, but the little guy would just not stop hopping around. That’s basically what they do: non-stop flitting among the branches of shrubs and trees. No doubt the kinglets have been in the backyard previously, but were not identifiable other than as a tiny bird that wouldn’t stop for two seconds so I could get a look at it. I just happened to see it right outside my window today, not two feet away, in the pineapple guava tree. I grabbed the camera and went to the back door, hoping he might visit the feeder. Instead, he visited every shrubby, leafy plant in the yard, and moved every 1.5 seconds. Nevertheless, the trusty Lumix FZ 200 was able to get a picture of it. I couldn’t even see the kinglet – just some motion detected in the strawberry tree about 25 feet away – so I just kept firing away with the Lumix. I lucked out and one or two of the pictures actually included the bird.

I get to include flyovers and views of birds in trees that are actually in our neighbors’ yards in my yard total, which helped get me to 50 birds. I don’t expect that we’ll ever see the Great Blue Heron visit the bird feeder, but we can see them fly over on their commute between the bay and the foothills.

My yard list started in February 2013, and I went back to look at the entries in chronological order. No surprises for the first couple of months: the list included all the ‘regulars’ we continue to see. But then we get to “Pacific Wren”. I wonder about that one now, since we routinely see the Bewick’s Wren these days. The Pacific Wren (or Winter Wren) is not uncommon in the nearby hills, but it could be confused with the Bewick’s. I’ll have to take a look at my next few wrens and see if some of these are actually Pacifics. That lone, early entry might have been miscalled. Hate to drop back to 49 birds, but delisting may be necessary.

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