Ruby flashes


The Ruby-crowned kinglet is a rather small, undistinguished insectivore that can be seen for perhaps a month, two times a year, as it passes through our region. Further, in its search for insects to eat, it forages deep in brush and frenetically moves from branch to branch with a rapidity that makes it difficult to observe. 

Why bother with it? The female, male, and juvenile all look alike — except for when the male gets excited. On those occasions, he displays his otherwise-hidden eponymous ruby crown. That excitement might be the sighting of a potential mate, a rival, a predator, or it seems, the mere need for a scratch.

A male Ruby-crowned Kinglet visited. It did not appear concerned by my attentions, but flitted about so quickly that it allowed scant time for portraits. But, on one occasion, it scratched itself. Ah, then the ruby crown appeared.

The Ruby-crowned Kinglet frenetically foraged for insects, rarely stopping for a portrait.

On one occasion it paused for a scratch and flashed its ruby crown.


This entry was posted in birds. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Ruby flashes

  1. Allan Hobden says:

    Oh WOW!..quite the snap split second! Great share! Thx!

  2. Irene McIlwaine says:

    Wow you were clever to get that gorgeous flash of red. Thank you. Wishing I had your skills when we saw two mountain bluebirds fluttering around the gulley at our daughter’s home on lower Six mile. All hoping that they might have decided to nest there.

  3. Lorna Surina says:

    Awesome! Not often have I seen the “crown”.

  4. Christine Boyd says:

    Wow Alistair, these are beautiful!

  5. Trevor Goward says:

    The Ruby-Crowns arrived in the Clearwater Valley three days ago. Here they’ll remain to mate and raise their young. Often have I seen the “ruby” crown, but always at a distance, through binoculars, never like this. Fabulous!

Comments are closed.