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Golden-crowned Kinglet
Photos © Tony Coomer, Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Woodbridge, Virginia

Golden-crowned Kinglet
Regulus satrapa
Order: Passeriformes; Family Regulidae

This is one of the smallest birds in North America! It is dull olive-green with whitish undersides, a short thin bill and a short tail.

Females and immature birds have just a yellow crest on the top of their heads; the male has an orange patch in the middle of the yellow. There is a white stripe above the eye separated from the yellow patch by a black line

The Golden-crowned Kinglet lives in conifer forests of Canada, the mountainous areas of the western US, the northeastern  US and south along the Appalachians. When the weather turns colder, this small bird moves to lowland parts of the continental US and the Pacific coast of Canada into Alaska; some birds also winter in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick in the north or the Gulf coast of Mexico in the south.

The Kinglet lives in constant motion, foraging in the trees for insects and their eggs.  Although they usually won’t come to feeders, in winter they will join groups of other small birds (such as chickadees and finches) that do.

This bird produces two clutches of eggs each breeding season, which is a difficult thing to do in the short summers of Canada.  

After the young leave the nest, the male will feed them while the female is already incubating her second set of eggs . The nest, placed in a tree, is cup-shaped and made of plant materials, and it contains an average of half a dozen eggs.