April's Bird-of-the-Month: Golden-crowned Kinglet

By Katie Nelson

Golden-crowned Kinglets are fairly common in March but as it gets closer to April they will grow more and more common. They are a year-round resident of New Hampshire and so they breed and nest here, too. They are very small birds, weighing only six grams. They have pale gray undersides and their backs are darker gray with a hint of yellow. They have black wings with streaks of yellow and white. Golden-crowned Kinglets also have a streak of black through their eyes and the adults have a patch of yellow or orange on the tops of their heads. They like conifer trees in particular where they can find spiders, mites, and insects to eat.

Last fall I was picking apples in a small orchard with a friend. It was very quiet, so we could actually hear the kinglets calling to each other. Soon they were in the trees around us. It was rather magical, especially the melodic noises they made. I haven't seen any since then; they are often overlooked in winter because of their subtlety—small size and small voice—but I assure you, they are here! I personally find them extraordinary and I hope you are all as lucky as I was to see one.

Please report any sightings of Golden-crowned Kinglets to Katie at nhyoungbirders@gmail.com. Any member of the Harriers who manages to snap a photograph or sound recording of either a Ruby-crowned or Golden-crowned Kinglet in the month of April will receive a DVD copy of the film The Big Year—quickly becoming a cult classic!