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I have a hard time accepting the idea that the weather killed off the kinglets
for a few reasons. 
1.  It's hard to imagine losing that many kinglets during a couple of weeks of
harsh weather in North Carolina when at least one of the species (the
Golden-crowned) regularly winters as far north as New England and the southern
Great Lakes region and the Ruby-crowned generally returns north very early in
the season when the weather is still pretty nasty by our standards.
2.  Kinglets are pretty common in the winter here in the mountain region where
winters can be a little harder.  I have never noted any difference in kinglet
numbers before and after a winter storm.  In fact, even during that huge
blizzard we had several years ago in March the kinglets, including the
Golden-crowned who do not come to the feeder, survived quite nicely.
3.  I read an article several years ago about the amazing ability of
Golden-crowned Kinglets to survive winter weather in the north.  I believe it
said that they are able, if necessary, to go into a short period of torpor when
conditions are really bad.
	I won't say that some of the birds may not have survived.  Thick ice
coatings on trees that lasts for some time must have some effect on their
ability to find food.  But I tend to doubt the huge die-off theory.  More
likely they moved to better areas.
Marilyn Westphal/Hendersonville, NC   email:  mjwestphal@unca.edu