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Wild About Birds - Illinois Gnatcatchers and Kinglets!

Family and Species Gallery

Kingdom: Animalia - Animals are multicellular organisms that rely on other organisms for nourishment. There cells do not have cell walls. Most animals are capable of movement at least in some portion of their life cycle. Reproduction is generally sexual, but in some animals asexual reproduction may be utilized at certain times.
Phylum: Chordata - The Phylum Chordata contains the vertebrate animals. Mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fishes are included in this phylum. These animals have a notochord at some point in their development. They have a tubular nerve cord along the back. Gill slits and a tail are present at some point in their life cycle. They have an internal skeleton.
Class: Aves - Birds are the only organisms with feathers. They are endotherms, maintaining a nearly constant body temperature. They have a hard bill but no teeth. A gizzard, which functions to grind food, is present in the digestive tract. Fertilization is internal. A nest is built in which the hard-shelled eggs are deposited and incubated.
Order: Passeriformes - These are birds with adaptations for holding on to thin twigs or stems. Three of the toes on each foot face forward and one backward to help it grasp and balance on small branches.
Family Polioptilidae (Gnatchathers) - These small birds have a thin bill and a long, slim tail that is often held in an upright position. Insects are the main food source.
     blue-gray gnatcatcher (Polioptila caerulea)

Family: Regulidae (Kinglets) - Kinglets are very small birds with a short tail. The bill is thin. They flutter their wings frequently. The wings have white bars of feathers highlighted by a black feather bar. A colorful patch of feathers is present on the head of all but the female ruby-crowned kinglet. Insects are the main food source.
     golden-crowned kinglet (Regulus satrapa)
     ruby-crowned kinglet (Corthylio calendula​)