Living Bird Magazine
Golden-crowned KingletRegulus satrapa
- ORDER: Passeriformes
- FAMILY: Regulidae
Golden-crowned Kinglets are boldly marked with a black eyebrow stripe and flashy lemon-yellow crest. A good look can require some patience, as they spend much of their time high up in dense spruce or fir foliage. To find them, listen for their high, thin call notes and song. Though barely larger than a hummingbird, this frenetically active bird can survive –40 degree nights, sometimes huddling together for warmth. They breed in the far north and montane west and visit most of North America during winter.More ID Info
Find This Bird
Search for Golden-crowned Kinglets in dense stands of spruce and fir during summer—or, if you live south of their breeding range, look for them in winter, when they may be in shrubs or deciduous trees. They’re tiny, hard to see birds that spend much of their time among dense needles, often high in the tree. So use your ears and listen for the high, tinkling song of males and especially the high, thin call notes, frequently given while foraging. Once you’ve heard your target, look for movement high in conifers and be prepared for quick views. If you want to attract a kinglet closer for a better look, try making a pishing sound to bring in kinglets along with, possibly, chickadees and warblers.
- Reyezuelo Sátrapa (Spanish)
- Roitelet à couronne dorée (French)
- Cool Facts
- The tiny Golden-crowned Kinglet is hardier than it looks, routinely wintering in areas where nighttime temperatures can fall below –40° Fahrenheit.
- Although it used to nest almost exclusively in boreal spruce-fir forests, the Golden-crowned Kinglet has been expanding its breeding range southward into conifer stands of the Midwest and Appalachians.
- The Golden-crowned Kinglet usually raises two large broods of young, despite the short nesting season of the northern boreal forest. The female feeds her first brood only up until the day after they leave the nest. She then starts laying the second set of eggs while the male takes care of the first brood. The male manages to feed eight or nine nestlings himself, and he occasionally feeds the incubating female too.
- Each of the Golden-crowned Kinglet's nostrils is covered by a single, tiny feather.
- The oldest Golden-crowned Kinglet on record was a male, and at least 6 years, 4 months old when it was recaptured and rereleased by a Minnesota bird bander in 1976.