An online resource based on the award-winning nature guide

Golden-crowned Kinglets Migrating & Staying Put

11-4-13 golden-crowned kinglet2A large number of Golden-crowned Kinglets pass through New England on their way from Canada to more southern wintering grounds at this time of year, but some hardy souls choose to remain in New England year round. Barely bigger than a hummingbird, Golden-crowned Kinglets manage to survive nights as cold as -40 F. degrees. If faced with a very cold night, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds lower their metabolic rate and go into a state of torpor. Golden-crowned Kinglets don’t go to this extreme, but several have been observed huddling together for warmth, and they have a tiny feather covering each of their nostrils, which slows down icy cold air and lets it warm up before it is breathed in. (Photo is of a female Golden-crowned Kinglet.)

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10 responses

  1. Gorgeous photo, and interesting to learn about those little nostril feathers. Thanks!

    November 4, 2013 at 1:45 pm

  2. Cliff Fairweather

    We have had both Golden and Ruby-crowned Kinglets visiting the two sugar maples in our Arlington, VA backyard for the last couple of weeks. They are doing lots of leaf gleaning.

    November 4, 2013 at 2:56 pm

  3. Jean Harrison

    I was planning to write exactly what Janet said. So consider the post doubly gorgeous and interesting re little feathers.

    November 4, 2013 at 8:35 pm

  4. I am so happy to be following this great blog….

    November 4, 2013 at 11:43 pm

    • Thanks so much, Ricker!

      November 5, 2013 at 1:40 am

      • over here more than 100 species of bats, They mingle with flycatchers in the evenings diving, swirling after insects that seem to hatch at that time. Quite a sight. On the golf course 3 foot and bigger water monitors splashing away in the shallow water ditches. Trying to find the good books for identification..bye, r

        November 8, 2013 at 1:28 am

  5. Very nice photo of a difficult subject that is not only tiny, but a tad hyperactive as well! They are a joy – thanks for sharing.

    November 5, 2013 at 2:09 am

  6. Jennifer Waite

    Wonderful photo Mary!

    November 6, 2013 at 3:44 pm

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