“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.