Kinglets of the United States
Types of Birds
Kinglets are are group of small songbirds in the family Regulidae.
Six different species are found around the world, with two species, the Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Regulus calendula) and Golden-crowned Kinglet (Regulus satrapa), indigenous to North America.
Most accounts of the species note their active lifestyle. They tend to live in forest areas, quickly hopping around on tree branches in search of insects and spiders.
Their inclination for constant motion often translates into a photographic challenge. They rarely sit still long enough for a decent picture. If, by chance, you think you see a Kinglet sitting still on a branch, double check the field markings. The traditionally calmer Hutton's Vireo, shares some physical resemblances with the Kinglet.
The top picture shows the red patch characteristic of the male Ruby-crowned Kinglet. It's not always visible.
The Golden-crowned Kinglet picture in the photo at the left, sports a distinct yellow color crown. It is characteristic of both males and females, although the male patch can also have a touch of orange in it.
Both kinglet species are otherwise identified by their olive colored bodies and white wing bars.
Despite their diminutive size, kinglets are hardy birds. Many do migrate to Southern climates for the winter. However, winter populations of both species are found in the Northeast/New England and Pacific Northwest regions.
During the colder winter months, the northern populations tend to move to lower elevations, including residential areas.
© 2008-2012. Patricia A. Michaels