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Ruby-crowned Kinglet Regulus calendula


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Ruby-crowned Kinglet, male
credit: FWS

© Lang Elliot/ (audio)

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Family: Regulidae, Kinglets view all from this family

Description ADULT MALE Has mainly grayish olive-green upperparts, but note the dark wings and two white wing bars; lower one is more pronounced than upper one. Ruby crown patch is only exposed in displaying or agitated birds and is otherwise hidden by grayish olive crown feathers. Underparts are pale olive-gray. ADULT FEMALE Similar to male, but lacks ruby crown patch. JUVENILE Similar to adult female.

Dimensions Length: 3 3/4-4 1/2" (10-11 cm)

Habitat Widespread and common summer visitor (present mainly May-Sep) to northern coniferous forests. Winters from southern U.S. to Central America, favoring a range of wooded habitats.

Observation Tips Easy to see in suitable habitats. The high-pitched calls and songs of both kinglets are inaudible to many people.

Range Eastern Canada, Mid-Atlantic, Florida, Great Lakes, Northwest, Western Canada, Plains, New England, California, Texas, Rocky Mountains, Southwest, Southeast, Alaska

Voice Song comprises chattering and warbling notes, preceded by thin tsee-tsee-tsee notes; call is a raspy d'dit.

Discussion Marginally larger than Golden-crowned Kinglet, from which it is readily distinguished by its relatively plain face, unmarked except for the broken white patch that surrounds and emphasizes the beady black eye. Forages actively and tirelessly for insects and spiders, caught with its needlelike bill. Often hovers to glean insects in manner of Golden-crowned Kinglet and also flicks its wings in an agitated manner. Sexes are separable.