I hear a scratching at the back sliding glass window. I look over to see the cat pawing away at something. I take a look, and I see a tiny little kinglet clinging to the back screen door from the outside.
The little creature was mostly gray in color and was classified in one bird watcher's handbook with chickadees, nuthatches, creepers, wrens, dippers, and thrushes (including bluebirds and robins).
I try to discourage the cat, but she is not allowing herself to be as easily dissuaded. (We communicate. She tells me when she is about to be sick. She leads me to her empty food and water dish. I can lead her up onto furniture and through the obstacle course of my computer desk up to the window sill. The one thing she does not understand is that we are not abandoning her when someone leaves the house.) I finally place a semi-empty bag of charcoal briquettes in front of the window. I shoo her away from the door, and I step outside.
The little kinglet is still clinging to the screening with its tiny little beak placed in one of the holes. I carefully urge the small bird to let go and eventually I am able to get it to perch on my hand. I bring the little kinglet over to a viney bush on the back porch, but the frightened little thing will not leave my hand. I slowly move the bird backwards so that one of the vines nudges her legs and she grabs the vine from reflex. (I've handled all sorts of birds: parakeets, cockatiels, quakers, cockatoos, macaws, and, of course, parrots.)
The little bird is breathing hard with its eyes half-shut and its tiny little beak partially open, gasping for air. It probably wore itself out trying to get away from the screen door. I give it time to rest before a plate of seed is brought out, but by that time it had rested sufficiently well enough to flee.
I have a picture.
Golden Crowned Kinglet
Description: 3 3/4" - 4" (10 cm). Tiny, plump, with short, notched tail, thin bill. Olive gray above, grayish white below. White wing bars, dark flight feathers with golden edging. Broad white eyebrow beneath black-striped crown. Males have an orange-and-yellow crown center. Adult females (this bird) have a yellow crown center. Adolescents do not have yellow crowns.
Food: insects, fruit, tree sap
Quirks: Habit of flicking its wings when moving around. Can be very tame and approachable.