The Golden-crowned Kinglet (Regulus satrapa) is a very small songbird. Adults are olive-gray on the upperparts with white underparts, with thin bills and short tails. They have white wing bars, a black stripe through the eyes and a yellow crown surrounded by black. The adult male has an orange patch in the middle of the yellow crown. The juvenile is similar to the adult, but with a browner back and without the yellow crown. This is one of the smallest passerines in North America. Its length, at 8 to 11 cm (3.1 to 4.3 in), is probably the shortest of any American passerine. [Wikipedia]
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. [All About Birds]
Golden-crowned Kinglet Facts [All About Birds]
- The tiny Golden-crowned Kinglet is hardier than it looks, routinely wintering in areas where nighttime temperatures can fall below –40° Fahrenheit.
- Each of the Golden-crowned Kinglet’s nostrils is covered by a single, tiny feather.
- 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 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.