- A less common species, the Golden-crowned Kinglet, is also found in our area in winter. It primarily stays near coniferous forests such as pine or redwoods.
- The Latin name Regulus literally means "little king" or "kinglet"—referring to these birds' colorful crowns (but just as applicable to their feisty personalities, too!).
Bird of the Month
Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Regulus calendula)
Photo © Tom Clifton
One of our smallest songbirds, the kinglet is a common wintering visitor to the Monterey region. Appearing in early October, these active songbirds can be seen darting to and fro amongst the foliage, going after insects. Their most typical behavior is a hovering motion made while gleaning from leaves. Listen for the kinglet's call: a rapid series of chattering notes.
This species leaves our area in late March to breed in the Sierra Nevada and beyond. The male's namesake ruby crown is normally concealed, appearing during mating display or when the bird is alarmed. Local summertime reports of Ruby-crowned Kinglets can result from a look-alike bird, the Hutton's Vireo. Compared to the kinglet, the vireo has a thicker bill and lacks the dark area below the lower wing bar.