The Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Kinglets are smaller than warblers; there are two species that occur at Mount Auburn, the Ruby-crowned and the Golden-crowned. The Ruby-crowned is one of the first migrants we encounter in the spring as they move quickly to their breeding grounds. In the fall Ruby-crowned Kinglets tend to linger longer and can be seen from mid September into October. Ruby-crowned Kinglets are tiny, smaller than the warblers, and pretty undistinguished in plumage. The Ruby-crowned is a candidate for sedation; it is always in motion with constant wing-flicking as it darts from branch to branch. The Ruby-crowned is more active than the Golden-crowned Kinglet, often seen flying off branches to catch insects in mid air.
You can find Ruby-crowned Kinglets most anywhere in Mount Auburn, in the fall they will often travel with a mixed flock of birds and are very inquisitive to spishing. Spishing is an oral sound made by birders to attract birds up close, some believe that these sounds resemble alarm calls and create a mobbing effect. Sometimes in this excitement, the agitated bird will raise its crest to show off its red crown. You can find kinglets at any level but in the fall they are often lower, even foraging in weedy patches of grasses and goldenrods. In the fall you can detect them by their call, a series of two or three stuttering “jidit”.