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Ruby-crowned kinglet        Images © Mark A. Chappell

Ruby-crowned kinglets are a constant frustration to bird photographers.   They are one of the few species that are fearless enough to come very close, but they are so active and fast-moving that it's nearly impossible to get one framed and in focus before it flits off.   I got lucky with these birds.   One was chasing kelp flies on the shore of a small lagoon at the mouth of the Big Sur River, at Andrew Molera State Park on the California coast, another was feeding in low shrubs near Seward, Alaska, a third was foraging in an oak tree near Murrieta, California, and the other (with the rarely-visible red crown erect) was near Riverside, California.

  • Canon 10D, 1D Mk. II, 1D4, or 7D2; 500 mm f4 IS lens or 800 mm IS lens plus 1.4X converter, fill-in flash (2003, 2004, 2012, 2015)