Monday, November 3, 2014

Creature Feature #380: Kinglet

Kinglets are tiny passerines, ranging from 8-11 cm (only slightly larger than my image) in length. Due to their small size and high metabolism, Kinglets must eat constantly. If prevented from eating, he can starve to death very quickly. His diet consists of insects and other invertebrates, which are gleaned from branches. Nests are small neat cups, almost spherical, hanging from the high tip end of a conifer. They are tightly woven, lined with feathers, and act as insulation against the outside temperature. In this nest she will lay up to twelve eggs, piling them on top of one another and pushing her warm legs down amongst them to help with the incubation. The chicks suffer similar issues, hatching at different ratios and with the birds at the top receiving food but being cold, settling down at the bottom once they are full. Sort of like a pulsating pile of nestlings.  They fledge within 24 days of hatching, and are short-lived, with a maximum lifespan of around 6 years.

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