When the little bird came down from the pine and briefly alighted on a birch branch, I managed to get a picture (not a great picture) that was enough to identify my tiny bird as a golden-crowned kinglet (Regulus satrapa). The male has a orange-yellow patch on the crown of his head, while the female has a bright yellow patch. My picture captured the female, and that blurry pine picture above shows the bright yellow of that crown spot on her head. This picture below shows her diminutive size and wing bars.
This shot finally captured her yellow crown, at least a little bit of it, in plain view.
The golden-crowned kinglet isn't a rare bird, but it's still not a common backyard feeder bird, so I was quite excited to have spotted it in my yard. I'll be watching for it now, and hoping for a better photographing opportunity.
This morning, as if they knew it was Wild Bird Wednesday, a group of ring-necked pheasants came to scratch and peck under my bird feeder. I believe it was a mother with 3 "adolescent" males. They are just moulting into their adult plumage and I'm not sure how many moult cycles they go through before they achieve adult appearance. I apologize for the quality of the photographs but they were taken through my home office window glass, so not as clear as I would have liked. Pheasants are very timid and rapidly leave if I go outside to photograph them. Here is one of the young males with the adult female to the right and another young male in the background.
You can clearly see the red on his face and some of the iridescent feather colouring forming.
Here is the second young male, very similar in appearance to the first.
Here is mom (rear) with two of her brood. The one on the right is interesting - I still think it's a male, but it seems to be in a different moult phase than the other two males.
This is the different male - the feathers have light coloured lacing on the tips, unlike the other males, and the neck feathering is different in colour to the others. I'm not sure if this one is a bit older, or a bit younger, than the other two. I'm still fairly sure it's a male due to the red on the face and the tail appearance.
Then my cat jumped up onto the windowsill and everybody went on high alert! Here's mom, giving me the evil eye!
They all disappeared into the underbrush in a hurry.
Here is a second set of pictures of what I believe is the same bird species, but of course I can't be positive. These were taken a few days after the first set. Again in the first picture, you can see those dark feather markings under the tail.