Monday, February 16, 2015
Hutton's Vireo or Ruby-crowned Kinglet?
I thought this was a Hutton's Vireo when I was watching it through the brambles. But now that I see the pinkish looking foot (at least I think that's a foot), I think it must be a Ruby-crowned Kinglet. But that eye ring seems so wide... which one has such a bug-eyed look? It also seems like maybe there might be a dark area behind the second wingbar (indicating a Ruby-crowned) but I can't really tell. And I can't tell anything about bill shape with this head-on view, the only one I got. Would love to hear what it is and why.
Okay, the verdict is in and the foot tells the story. Only the Ruby-crowned Kinglet has a yellowish or reddish foot. And it is the Ruby-crowned that has a bug-eyed look. But without that foot clue, you could (and many pepple responding did) make a case for either species because the standard points are tough to see in this photo: black behind second wingbar on Ruby-crowned, not on Hutton's; tiny bill on ruby-crowned, fatter bill on Hutton's. Here is a link to an excellent page pointing out the differences: http://creagrus.home.montereybay.com/HUVI-v-RCKI.html
But you need a proper photo to see them! Otherwise, you have to hope you get a foot in the photo.