Blazing Foreheads

Golden-crowned Kinglet/Regulus satrapa. All over this particular day. This binomial means little king, crowned.

Our other kinglet, the Ruby-crowned, turns out to be not all that similar to the other birds of the Regulus genera. Formerly known as Regulus calendula, the Ruby-crowneds were recently re-named Corthylio calendula. Corthylio calendula is the sole member of its genus; there are three recognized subspecies: Northern, Western, and Guadalupe. Corthylio was first proposed in 1853, from the Greek for a small, wren-like bird. The specific epithet calendula was maintained; it means glowing.


If there’s one thing wild plants need, it’s publicity. Agriculture, gardening, and the dead flower industry all have their gong-bangers, but the wildflowers? Barely. Especially here amid the concrete. But now New York City has an opportunity to vote on an official wildflower. There are five borough champions. Who will reign supreme?

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