Birds of Seabrook Island

COAST BIRDS
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WORLD BIRDS
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ANECDOTES

  Ruby-crowned Kinglet
 
 

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  Order Passeriformes
   Suborder Passeres - Oscines (Song Birds)
      Parvorder Passerida (Superfamily Sylvioidea)
         Family Regulidae - Kinglets, Goldcrests

  Passerines are generally smaller than non-passerines. They have a perching foot with three toes directed forward and the one backward with locking tendons to facilitate perching when their tendons are flexed. All passerines scratch by bringing the foot over the wing. Incubation ranges from 11 -21 days. Young hatch blind with little or no down and spend 10-15 days or so in the nest - development is rapid and parents provide care beyond fledging.
Oscines are passerines with complex syringeal musculature used to produce varied vocalizations. 
Sylvioidea includes nuthatches, creepers, wrens, tits, kinglets, and Old World Warblers.
Kinglets are an Old World group with two New World representatives. They are small, active, cold-hardy  birds with an eye-ring or eye-stripe. Males have a colored crown patch. They are active arboreal foragers, found mainly in conifers.  They are our smallest passerines.
     
     
  Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Regulus calendula
 
   Cornell     USGS     WIki     EoL
        WINTER - Common / Common
            MIXED WOODS, OPEN WOODLAND, SUBURBS
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   The Ruby-crowned Kinglet is olive-drab with marked wing bars and pale eye-ring. the flanks are buffy-green but the under-tail coverts are white. Adult males have a red crest that can be raised but it is seldom seen in winter (it may appear as a faint red line on the crown). [If you hold an adult male kinglet, you will often miss this red crest - you have to blow or tousle the head feathers with your hand to see it.] Ruby-crowned Kinglets feed actively and may be heard to sing on a sunny day in winter. These are among the smallest of our song birds (~6.5 g) but thrive in cold weather.
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
     
Ruby-crowned Kinglet. Clemson
   
  RANGE: Ruby-crowns breed from northern Labrador across Quebec and the southern shore of Hudson Bay, north and west almost to the Arctic Ocean and the Pacific coast of Alaska. They breed south along the pacific shore of Canada and in the Rocky Mountain chain south to northern New Mexico. The breed from central Alberta and southern Manitoba north and around Lake Superior, east to New England. In winter they withdraw to the Pacific Coast, southern desert states south through Baja and to Guatemala in Central America, then east in lower Arizona, central Texas and Missouri to the Ohio River and east to Virginia.
  BREEDING: Monogamous. One brood. The female builds a hanging nest that is open at the top with a deep cavity. She uses moss, lichens, twigs and dead leaves and lines it with fine materials. She lays 7-8 (4-9) eggs which she incubates for about 12 (13-14) days. The male may feed the female during incubation. Young are altricial. They fledge at about 16 days of age. Both sexes care for the young.
  DIET: They feed on insects, tree sap, berries, spiders and a few seeds. They sometimes take sap or visit flowers for nectar. They are active foragers at all levels. They may hover while picking up a food item and they may flycatch. Compared with the Golden-crowned Kinglet, the ruby-crown does more hovering and flycatching, less hanging on twigs.
   They are regular at our bird feeder, feeding actively on suet in winter. They also explore the seed feeder and ground for shards left by other birds.
  VOICE: The kinglet's song is bubbling, long, and varied - and they sing on warm winter mornings. It begins with high clear notes and ends with w low, whistled chant.
 

NOTES:
   Checklists -
      Seabrook. Kiawah - common fall through spring. Edisto - winter.
      Coastal - common winter visitor. Hilton Head - fairly common winter visitor (with thrushes).
         Cape Romain - occasional/absent/abundant/abundant. Huntington Beach - common September - April; uncommon May.
      Caw Caw - common year-round. ACE - common/absent/common/common.
   Kiawah Island banding - Capn' Sam's Spit - 7 (1 recapture) Oct-Nov 2009; 3 (1 recapture) Jan-Feb 2010; 8 (1 recapture) Nov 2010; 1 Apr 2011;
      19 (1 recapture) Oct-Nov 2011; (1 recapture) Feb 2012; 1 Sep 2012. Cougar Island - 9 Oct-Nov 2009.
   CBC: ACE 148, 63, 109, 159, 51, 136, 135, 117; Charleston 130, 226, 260, 152, 65, 151, 243, 158;
       St Helena/Fripp x, x, x, x, x, x, 22, 5; Hilton Head 39,11, 75, 143, 65, 89, 62, 33; Sun City/Okatie 12, 72, 35, 62, 24, 62, 50, 64;
       McClellanville 96, 67, 84, 100, nc, 85, 164, 84; Winyah Bay x, x, 48, 117, 56, 62, 95, 33;
           Litchfield/Pawley's 104, 140, 102, 163, 156, 268, 320, 118.
   P&G: Common winter visitor. 8 September - 14 May.Maximum: 642, Awendaw/Cape Romain, 28 December 1975.
   Avendex: 3 reports, May and December (maximum, above).
   Potter: Common winter resident east of the mountains, late September to early May. They occur in a variety of habitats, often showing a preference for conifers.

  ●  Ruby-crowns are common in the live oaks around our villa on Seabrook in winter. They are also common in winter in Clemson - exploring ornamentals as well as hickories and oaks - moving constantly as they feed. They are among our lightest (least massive) passerines, weighing 6-7 g. Yet, they are among our most cold-hardy winter birds. Interesting.
       
    Banner - Ruby-crowned Kinglet. Clemson.
       
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KEY:    ■ Seabrook list     □ Kiawah list