|« Swallows Swooping at Nature Boardwalk||Creepers Creeping at Nature Boardwalk »|
Monday, April 18, 2011
Kings of the Boardwalk
“Royalty” has been gracing us with its presence at Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo of late. Here’s what to look for to spot kingfishers and kinglets:
Belted Kingfisher: In many bird species, the males are more colorful than the females. Some species, such as red-winged blackbirds or wood ducks, take the difference to extremes. However, belted kingfishers buck the trend; females are more colorful than males!
The female above shows off her rufous-colored belt, which is absent in males. True to their name, kingfishers catch fish, making the pond at Nature Boardwalk an ideal habitat.
Kinglets: These tiny birds are amazingly compact bundles of energy. Golden-crowned kinglets (pictured) have been spotted at the boardwalk lately. In this species, males and females wear a “crown” (a bright yellow streak on top of their heads). Male crowns have a reddish or orange center, but this is often difficult to see.
The other kinglet species found in our area, the ruby-crowned kinglet, can be distinguished by its white eye ring. In contrast with golden-crowned kinglets, crowning is this species is limited to a single sex. Only male ruby-crowned kinglets wear the mark, which is a streak of bright red.
Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo
By transforming the South Pond into Nature Boardwalk, Lincoln Park Zoo has created an urban ecosystem in the heart of the city. Enjoy a virtual view as native plants and animals establish themselves in this rare refuge.
As Lincoln Park Zoo’s director of horticulture, Brian oversees the zoo’s gardens, from bud to bloom.
As coordinator of wildlife management, Mason chronicles the bugs, birds, fish, insects, mammals and more that make their homes at Nature Boardwalk.
Your support helps conserve endangered species around the globe. Give today to make a difference.