The weather is hot but not too hot, so it is very pleasant to sit outside with my camera. Over this last couple of weeks my left knee has been very painful, so I couldn't stray far. My balcony has been my resting place and main source of entertainment, and I couldn't be more pleased now that there are two Firecrests visiting my feeders which has given me great pleasure to watch and photograph. I have become a little obsessed with these petite passerines in the kinglet family, and watch them for hours.There are a lot of Cork Oak trees on the property which is a their favourite breeding place, where they build a compact three layered nest on a tree branch. They also like broadleafed trees and conifers which is another feature of the landscape, but until two years ago I had never seen a Firecrest.
These birds are extremely difficult to photograph.
They are so active, and their heads bob up and down all the time at the feeder. I must have discarded dozens of tail images.
They do not pose on a branch, but arrive unobtrusively through a gap in the railings and leave the same way. I have never seen them fly.
For a little bird with a little beak, it is amazing how much food it can carry. Often it arrives with it's beak already full of food, but still manages to take away more.
As I have already written, the Firecrest is constantly on the move.
Their nest must be quite near, as they are arriving every ten minutes.
When one leaves, the other appears immediately after, as both parents feed their chicks. Just lately however, I have been wondering if it is possible that there are two females coming to the feeder and not both sexes.
The female incubates seven to twelve eggs on her own.
These small birds are monogamous.
The average life expectancy of a Firecrest is between two to three years, but hopefully their offspring's will survive to bring joy to bird lovers like myself every year.