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My Life’s Birds: #117

August 20, 2008

December 30, 1993 – Springfield Nature Center, Mo – Often times winter trips to the Springfield Nature Center are extremely productive. The place functions as sort of an oasis of habitat within the sprawl that defines the south side of Springfield. The great variety of habitat and miles of well-maintained trails make it a must hit for anyone birding in the area, and in addition, it was a short jaunt from our house. As such, we visited often. In the spring for warblers and other neotrops, in the fall for sparrows, and in the winter for waterfowl and the little birds that stick out the winters once the others have long gone.

The walk down to the boardwalk on an arm of Lake Springfield was a favorite when time was short. We’d stop and check the flocks of foraging Chickadees and Titmice for anything different, and this time we found a Golden-crowned Kinglet within the bunch, as they so often are this time of year.

I’ve always associated the Ruby-crown as a bird of the fall, but its Golden cousin is a true winter bird where I come from. Strange then, that a bird so identified with ice and snow is the smallest perching bird in North America. It seems as though it should be the other way around. That the relatively robust Ruby should seek more temperate climes in the winter than the minuscule Golden is a real mystery. But as it is, I ended 1993 with 117 bird on my Life List. I only wish I could get those kind of numbers any more.

photo from wikipedia


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