Readers’ wildlife photos

January 15, 2023 • 8:15 am

Today is Sunday, and John Avise never lets us down with bird photos on goyische cat Sabbath. Today John concentrates on birds’ topknots. His IDs and narrative are indented, and you can enlarge his photos by clicking on them.

Caps and Crowns

Some avian species with otherwise conservative plumages show splashes of color on their caps, and this diagnostic feature is highlighted in their official common names that include the word “crowned”.  Some of these birds are the subject of this week’s post.  The function of such head patches is not always clear, but in at least some species (such as the Ruby-crowned Kinglet and the Orange-crowned Warbler), the feature is found only in adult males and is displayed mainly during courtship or in male-to-male disputes. The parrots, like the rest of these birds, were photographed here in Southern California where feral populations reside (the descendants of pet-store escapees).  But the parrots are native to Latin America.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Regulus calendula:

Another Ruby-crowned Kinglet:

Violet-crowned Hummingbird, Amazilia violiceps (Arizona):

Orange-crowned Warbler, Vermivora celata (the orange on the crown normally remains hidden):

White-crowned Sparrow adult, Zonotrichia leucophrys:

White-crowned Sparrow juvenile:

Golden-crowned Sparrow, Zonotrichia atricapilla:

Rufous-crowned Sparrow, Aimophila ruficeps:

Lilac-crowned Amazon, Amazona finschi:

Red-crowned Amazon, Amazona viridigenalis:

Yellow-crowned Night Heron, Nyctanassa violacea:

Black-crowned Night Heron, Nycticorax nycticorax:

Black-crowned Night Heron headshot:

5 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

  1. We have several common redpolls here, but they only show up periodically. It took me a while to find a match in Birds of NM, and for the longest time I thought of them as, “those things that look like house finches, but aren’t”.


  2. I used to think Ruby-crowned Kinglets must have been named from specimens in the hand until I saw one doing a courtship display. Head on Fire! It’s amazing how they can puff out those few red feathers.

  3. Amazing photos of these kingly (or queenly?) birds. Kinglet, indeed! Thanks, as always, for your Sunday themed exquisiteness.

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