RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET


Regulus calendula


Description:

This is one of our smallest birds, and weighing only about one quarter of an ounce, the Ruby-crowned Kinglet can easily feed while sitting on the tips of conifer branches. This bird is not very social during winter and is often seen alone. The Ruby-crowned Kinglet has a characteristic habit of nervously flicking its wings and wildly flitting about the shady regions of trees and thickets. This birds diet consists mainly of insects, which include moths, beetles, ants, wasps, butterflies, caterpillars, spiders. Berries and seeds are consumed in lesser quantities.


Appearance:

Olive upperparts. Pale-olive underparts. Broken, oval-shaped eye ring. Two white wing bars with dark area beyond the second. Small, thin, black bill. Yellow edges on flight feathers and tail. Sexes are similar, except the male has a red patch at the center of its crown. The patch is not always visible. 3.75 to 4.5 inches in length.


Habitat:

Coniferous forests in summer. Thickets and oniferous and deciduous forests in winter.


Nesting:

6-9 cream colored eggs lightly speckled with brown spots. The eggs have a 12 day incubation period. Fledging occurs in 12 days. The nest is a large hanging mass of moss, lichens, and plant down that contains a feather-lined open cup. The nest entrance is near the top.


Observed Locations:

  • Lake Murray, La Mesa
  • Mission Trails Regional Park, San Diego
  • Bird and Butterfly Garden, Tijuana River Valley
  • Lindo Lake, Lakeside
  • Santee Lakes, Santee





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Copyright © Scott Streit, 2000.