Golden-crowned Kinglet (Regulus satrapa)

Golden-crowned Kinglet

[order] PASSERIFORMES | [family] Regulidae | [latin] Regulus satrapa | [UK] Golden-crowned Kinglet | [FR] Roitelet a couronne doree | [DE] Indianer-Goldhahnchen | [ES] Reyezuelo de Coronilla Dorada | [NL] Amerikaans Goudhaantje


Genus Species subspecies Breeding Range Breeding Range 2 Non Breeding Range
Regulus satrapa NA, MA widespread
Regulus satrapa apache
Regulus satrapa aztecus
Regulus satrapa clarus
Regulus satrapa olivaceus
Regulus satrapa satrapa

Physical charateristics

Note the bright crown patch ( yellow in female, orange in male) bordered by black, and the whitish eyebrow stripe. Kinglets are tiny,
olive-gray birds, smaller than most warblers. An upward flick of the strongly barred wings is characteristic.

Listen to the sound of Golden-crowned Kinglet

[audio: Kinglet.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 14 cm wingspan max.: 18 cm
size min.: 8 cm size max.: 11 cm
incubation min.: 14 days incubation max.: 15 days
fledging min.: 14 days fledging max.: 16 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 7  
      eggs max.: 9  


North America, Middle America : widespread


Mostly conifers; in winter, sometimes other trees.
Breeds in dense coniferous forest, especially those of spruce, fir, and hemlock, less often in Douglas-fir or pines. During migration and in winter may be found in deciduous trees, but tends to seek out conifers even then, including pine groves and exoti
c conifers planted in cemeteries and parks.


Male defends nesting territory by singing. In aggressive encounters with other males, he may lean far forward and down with crown feathers raised, wings and tail flicking while he sings.
Nest: Placed in spruce or other conifer, 6-60′ up but usually high, averaging about 50′ above ground. Nest attached to hanging twigs below a horizontal branch, close to trunk, well protected by foliage above. Female builds
deep hanging cup of moss, lichens, bark strips, spider webs, twigs, leaves, lined with feathers, plant down, rootlets, other soft materials.
Eggs: 8-9, sometimes 5-
11. Surprising number of eggs for small size of bird, often arranged in 2 layers in nest. Eggs whitish to pale buff, with brown and gray spots often concentrated toward larger end. Incubation by female, about 14-15 days. Male may feed fe
male during incubation.
Young: Both parents feed nestlings. Young leave nest 14-19 days after hatching.

Feeding habits

Mostly insects.
Feeds on a wide variety of tiny insects, including beetles, gnats, caterpillars, scale insects, aphids, many others; also spiders. Diet includes many eggs of insects and spiders. Will feed on oozing sap; rarely feeds on fruit.
Behavior: Forages very actively, mainly in conifers. Hops among branches, often hanging upside down from tips of twigs. Occasionally hovers to glean an insect from foliage or bark; rarely catches an insect in midair. Compa
red with Ruby-crowned Kinglet, does less hovering and flycatching, more hanging upside down.


This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be increasing, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Golden-crowned Kinglet status Least Concern


Southern Alaska, Canada to Guatemala.
b Migration: Generally migrates late in fall and early in spring. Some on northern Pacific Coast are probably permanent residents.

Distribution map

Golden-crowned Kinglet distribution range map

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