The Golden-Crowned Kinglet is one bird that I had never really noticed prior to last summer. In my experience, you really have to look for them to notice them–they are tiny and flit from place to place, seemingly never holding still for a minute. The photo above was the first one I took of this bird, and it was not easy to get.
Last October, I was walking through the woods when something caught my eye. This is what I saw:
It was pretty shocking. This poor little Kinglet had her wing caught in some burrs (I believe this is a female, because the male has an orange-and-yellow patch on the crown and the female has an all yellow patch). The bird was just hanging there, and I was hesitant to grab at her because I was afraid she would start fluttering and hurt herself. After watching her for a minute, it was pretty clear the bird was not going to get free on her own. I ended up breaking the little branch she was caught on, without ever touching her, and the bird flew quickly into a low branch nearby.
She sat there for a long time cleaning her feathers. Having spent hours pulling those little burrs out of my own coat, I know how time-consuming it is to get all of them out. A while later, she looked good to go and I left her.
So you never know what you’re going to find when you’re walking around looking for birds to photograph. I was glad to be able to help this little bird out.