Thursday, December 6, 2012

a golden morning


Golden-crowned kinglet (Regulus satrapa)

One of the great joys of working at Ijams is my office window. (Windows are good for the soul no matter where they are, but ones at a nature center are especially soulful."By my Window have I for Scenery," wrote Emily Dickinson.) You never know what might appear in the trees and shrubs planted just outside.

This morning a golden-crowned kinglet fidgeted through the lowest branches of a sweetbay magnolia. (Fidget: to move about restlessly, nervously or impatiently.)

These lively little pixies are only in the valley in the winter. They nest farther north and farther upslope, in the spruce/fir forests at the highest elevations of the Great Smokies not that far from my hometown of Gatlinburg. Thus proving that migration is not always north-to-south, sometimes its high-to-low. AS to whether my bird spent its summer in Quebec or on top of old Smoky, it's hard to say.

Because kinglets are generally higher up the tree, the golden blazes on their noggins are not always easy to see, but this morning's passing was at eye-level.

Wow. What a way to start my day!

1 comment:

Rikki Hall said...

We've got a pair in the neighborhood, and the other day I glanced at one just in time to see it raise its crimson crown then dart off after its companion. What a stunning color! It seemed not to be merely reflecting light but generating its own.