PROWLS: Rescue of the week

Powell River Orphaned Wildlife Society provides shelter for injured golden-crowned kinglet

TRAUMATIZED SURVIVOR: Almost lost in a cat’s mouth, this tiny and traumatized golden-crowned kinglet with a broken wing huddled in the corner of a small cage at its temporary home at Powell River Orphaned Wildlife Society.

Antibiotics and pain medication soon had her up and moving. A treat of canned mealworms was quickly consumed followed by other delicacies.

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Weighing only six grams, golden-crowned kinglets are insectivores but they will make do with seeds in winter when bugs are scarce. They nest high in dense spruce in the northern boreal forest, often raising two large families in sequence.

The female lays three to 11 eggs, incubating them for 15 days. When hatched the nestlings are the size of bumblebees, naked except for a tuft of down on the crown.

The male helps feed the nestlings and sometimes the female when she lays the second clutch of eggs.

As the temperature drops, golden-crowned kinglets remain extremely active. Each nostril is covered by one tiny feather to facilitate breathing in minus-40 degree temperatures.

Finally coming south, they are unprepared for cars, windows and cats. We hope this tiny survivor will be alert to the new dangers. She is now in a larger cage, starting to exercise and getting anxious to get outside.

Contributed photo

Copyright © Powell River Peak


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