Scientific Name: Regulus calendula
Pictures: (click for larger images)
These guys are REALLY hard to take pictures of. They're so small and move so quickly.
These crappy photos are all I have for now:
Ruby-crowned Kinglet in the bottlebrush tree outside Ackerman Union. 3/2/05 Ruby-crowned Kinglet in the UCLA Botanical Garden. 3/8/05 Ruby-crowned Kinglet illustration.
-Photos by Jason Finley
-Illustration by Robert C. Stebbins from "Birds of the Campus" (1947) by Dr. Loye Miller.
Description: Tiny. 4" in length (beak to tail), smaller than a sparrow, abou the same size as a Bushtit or Hummingbird. Olive greenish color, lighter on front than back. Wings dark with white bands. White ring around eye. The males have a tiny red spot on their heads that they'll only flick up very briefly when they're agitated (usually at each other).
Sound: "Song an excited musical chattering." (eNature.com) Listen to a Ruby-crowned Kinglet singing and calling! Link is to the sound page for this bird from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's All About Birds.
Commonality/Seasonality: Common, Fall/Winter only.
Location: All over campus, mostly in bushes, and in coniferous trees.
Notes: Usually seen in small flocks. These lively little guys flit about very rapidly and are really cute. See if you can spot males flicking their ruby crowns up.
They really like bottlebrush plants (see the hummingbird pages).
Early October may bring the first Ruby-crown, and a few weeks later they are everywhere about the campus that a small insect might be found. In mid-March they begin their piping little song which means that the urge to migrate will soon take them away to the northward.
-Miller, Loye. "Birds of the Campus, University of California, Los Angeles," from University of California Syllabus Series, No. 300. Text by Loye Miller, illustrations by Robert C. Stebbins. Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1947.