golden-crowned kinglet

Over the wind, the twittering of chickadees trailing a flock of kinglets into the birches. Two brown creepers appear on adjacent trunks.

In the cold drizzle, a kinglet hovers over the faded lilac leaves, hawking prey too small to see. Then it, too, vanishes into the gloom.

At the woods’ edge, the yellowest birch seethes with small birds—kinglets, I think. But by the time I fetch binoculars, the tree is still.

Five below zero Celcius at sunrise. A single kinglet flutters in the birch—its whispery chirps. The fourth-quarter moon’s thin grin.

The black locusts are beginning to yellow as the black birches beside them deepen to orange, alive with kinglets and glowing in the rain.