Thursday, May 15, 2014

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

This April I caught an oddly plumaged Ruby-crowned Kinglet. While I was banding the bird, I noticed its forehead and chin were black. After looking closely at the photo, you may notice that the area just behind the bill appears to be damaged, with bare skin showing. The underside of the bill on the throat was similarly wounded. Late April was at least 20 degrees cooler than average, complete with rain and snow. Kinglets fed in mossy patches at the base of trees. Possibly feeding in this fashion knocked feathers from the base of the bill at the same time depositing a sappy stain on the remaining feathers.

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