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Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Regulus calendula

Length: 4.25 inches Wingspan: 7 inches Seasonality: Migrant / Summer
ID Keys: Tiny size, white eye-ring, very small bill, one very obvious white wing-bar with black behind it.  Male's ruby-crown usually difficult to see.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet - Regulus calendulaRuby-crowned Kinglets are tiny, extremely active migrants throughout most of the state, as well as a summer resident in the Black Hills.  They are very often seen foraging in mixed flocks containing kinglets, nuthatches, and warblers.  The male's ruby-crown is only raised in excitement, and is generally quite difficult to spot. 

Habitat: Uses coniferous forest for breeding.  Can be found in a wide variety of forest and shrub habitats during migration and in winter.

Diet: Primarily insects.  Will eat berries and seeds (primarily in winter), and will feed on tree sap.

Behavior: Extremely active foragers, constantly moving and flicking it's wings and tail as it clambers through foliage in search of food.   They will also hover and glean insects from foliage.

Nesting: June and July.  The nest of a Ruby-crowned Kinglet is a deep cup of mosses, twigs, lichens, evergreen needles, bark strips, and other material, lined with softer feathers and plant down.  The nest is usually in a spruce tree or sometimes another evergreen, from relatively clsoe to the ground to very high in the canopy.  The female usually lays between 6 and 8 eggs, and she alone incubates the eggs, with the male feeding her during the incubation period.  When the eggs hatch, both parents help to feed the young.  The young fledge after about 17 days.

Song: Ruby-crowned Kinglet Song

Migration: Summers throughout much of Canada, the western U.S., the Great Lakes region, and the northeastern U.S. Winters throughout much of the southern, western, and eastern U.S., and points south.

Interactive eBird Map: Click here to access an interactive eBird map of Ruby-crowned Kinglet sightings

Similar Species: Golden-crowned Kinglet

Conservation Status: Ruby-crowned Kinglets are found over a very wide geographic area, they are common in many areas, and their population appears to be stable.  The IUCN lists the Ruby-crowned Kinglet as a species of "Least Concern".

Further Information: 1) USGS Patuxent Bird Identification InfoCenter, Ruby-crowned Kinglet

2) WhatBird - Ruby-crowned Kinglet

3) Audubon Guide - Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Photo Information: October 5th, 2008 - Minnehaha County, South Dakota - Terry Sohl

Additional Photos: Click on the image chips or text links below for additional, higher-resolution Ruby-crowned Kinglet photos.

 

Click on the map below for a higher-resolution view 
Ruby-crowned Kinglet - Range Map
South Dakota Status: Common migrant throughout the state.  Common summer resident in the higher elevation portions of the Black Hills.

Additional Ruby-crowned Kinglet Photos
Click for a higher-resolution version of these photos
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