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Ruby-Crowned Kinglet Feeding on Nectar

John Mcb. Robertson
5 (September-October)
From Field and Study
Online Text

Ruby-crowned Kinglet Feeding on Nectar.- The Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Regulus cden- &da) is a common winter resident in northern interior California. At Paradise, Butte County, in the fall of 1958, the first kinglets were observed on October 5, and by October 9 they were quite common. By October 13, a Ruby-crown had discovered our two hummingbird feeders, hanging in the ceanothus shrubs. Two or more Anna Hummingbirds (Calypte anna) were regular visitors to the red nectar bottles, and the Ruby-crown soon became a regular customer also; it continued until January 30. I have never seen more than one kinglet at a time, and I do not know if more than one individual comes to feed. The hummingbirds either hover in front of the bottle, or perch on the wire loop and feed for several seconds before flying away. The kinglet comes to the perch, takes a sip, flits away, comes back for another sip, and is always in motion. After several sips it flies into the surrounding shrubbery and in a few minutes it is back again. This goes on throughout the daylight hours.

As I could find no published record of Ruby-crowned Kinglets feeding on nectar, I wrote to the Tucker Bird Sanctuary, Orange, California, for information. In reply, Mr. John W. Williams writes as follows: “With reference to the Ruby-crowned Kinglet, we have had a similar experience with them. We have [two] that attempt feeding on the nectar in our bottles, but of course with the Bee Guards to protect they do not get nectar. Occasionally we leave the Bee Guard off to give them a feed.”

Does the Ruby-crowned Ringlet also feed on the nectar of flowers if it is available?-JOHN McB. ROBERTSON, Paradise, Butte County, California, Januury 30, 1959. 

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