Gold on gold: a kinglet’s crest among the birch leaves. Rust on rust: a chipmunk’s fur among rain-flattened tangles of stiltgrass.
Over the wind, the twittering of chickadees trailing a flock of kinglets into the birches. Two brown creepers appear on adjacent trunks.
Five golden-crowned kinglets forage in the crown of a birch. In a nearby barberry, a junco ticks sporadically like an uncommitted clock.
A dusting of snow on every branch and twig. In the half-dark, kinglets bob in the top of a black birch—their high, thin calls.
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.