"Where Birds Hang Out"

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

        The area around the historic Jacob Hamblin home in Santa Clara is a fail-proof place to find bird life. The home is surrounded by beautiful large trees, bushes, and Pyracantha near the parking lot, which supply birds with both shelter and food. It happens to me time and time again, that my day is made brighter with the birds that kinglethang out at this historic site.

        The Ruby-crowned Kinglet generally lives at higher elevations in the summer and spends its winter where it is warm, like Mexico. The mild winters here in Washington County attract Kinglets who forage on insects, insect eggs and berries. The Ruby-crowned Kinglet is one of North America’s smallest birds. Because Kinglets weigh so little, they are able to feed on the very tips of branches. It is recognized by the nervous wing-flicking and active foraging from branch to branch to branch. It takes a sharp eye to see the male’s red crown patch, which is usually only erected for a few seconds when the male is displaying aggressively.

        How well I remember seeing the Ruby-crowned Kinglets in the Cottonwood trees near the Santa Clara River. This fall and winter watch for a small gray bird flicking its wings, moving rapidly - bop - bop - bop, and singing "je-dit, je-dit." With a pair of binoculars and a bird book it’s possible to find the Ruby-crowned Kinglet.

        The artist this week is Sue Romer. We are happy Sue moved to our area and that she enjoys drawing. Thank you Sue. If you would like to learn more about bird life in Utah and what The Nature Conservancy is working on in our area, plan to attend our next Red Cliffs Audubon General Meeting with speaker Elaine York, Wednesday, November 11, at the Tonaquint Nature Center, 7:00 p.m. For more information about birds or Red Cliffs Audubon activities call Marilyn Davis at 435 673-0996

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