SCIENTIFIC NAME: Regulus calendula
The Ruby-crowned Kinglet is a very small passerine bird found throughout North America. It is a tiny songbird with a relatively large head, a very small, thin straight bill and a thin tail.
They are small, measuring about 3.5 – 4.3 inches in length, with a wingspan of 6.3 – 7.1 inches and weight of 5 – 10 grams.
It has dark grayish olive head and upperparts, and warm buff on lower underparts. It has clean whitish areas before and after eye. It has a straight white wing bar on greater coverts and narrow black patch at base of secondaries.
Male has a very inconspicuous red or orange crown patch. Outside the breeding season, male is similar to female, without any crown patch. Bill is very thin and dusk, legs and feet are blackish.
Juvenile male lacks crown patch, but by first autumn, is similar to adult.
CALL: A thin “ze-zeet”, harsher than call of a Goldcrest. It also includes a scolding “je-ditt”.
SONG: Loud and ringing, and very different from songs of other kinglets. It begins with several thin “tsee” notes, followed by descending “tew” notes and ending with a rich warbling “teedadee-teedadee-teedadee”.
Their song can be heard over long distances.
Their diet consists mostly of insects and spiders, and insect’s eggs, especially which are stuck to the undersides of leaves and twigs.
They also eat some seeds, sap, and berries in winter.
Breeds in dry, open coniferous and mixed forests, at high elevation.
Winters in a variety of woodland types, including broadleaved, and also alder or willow thickets.
Breeds from Alaska to Newfoundland, southward to New Hampshire, Northern Wisconsin and Central Alberta, southward in western mountains to Southern California, Arizona and New Mexico.
Winters from Connecticut to Southern Kansas, and southward to Florida and Southern Mexico.
The female builds a deep and suspended nest under a horizontal branch, on the outer edge of tree. It is usually well hidden and protected from above by an overhanging branch.
It is made of moss, grass, lichen, bark, strips, twigs, rootlets, needles and spider webs. It is lined with soft materials, feathers, plant down and hair.
She lays 5 – 11 drab white eggs, spotted with red-brown around large end. Incubation last for about 12 – 14 days by the female, fed by the male.