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golden-crowned kinglet

golden-crowned kinglet (Regulus satrapa) Photo © Mary Kay Rubey

Features and Behaviors

The golden-crowned kinglet averages three and one-half inches in length. The male has a red-orange crown bordered with black while the female has a yellow crown bordered with black. A white stripe is present over the eye in both sexes. This tiny bird has gray-green body feathers. Two white bars can be seen on each wing.

The golden-crowned kinglet is a common migrant and winter resident statewide. It winters as far south as northern Mexico. Spring migrants begin arriving in Illinois in late March. Fall migrants begin arriving in September. This bird breeds in the coniferous forests of the northern United States and Canada and in the Appalachian Mountains south to Tennessee and North Carolina. Its call is “see-see-see” while the song is a series of high notes that go up, then down. Kinglets feed in small flocks, often with other species, from high in trees to near ground level. This bird eats insects and their larvae.

Illinois Range


Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Regulidae

Illinois Status: common, native