Beak of the Week – Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Regulus calendula)

Family: Regulidae

✏️ By Ryan McGinty, Conservation Technician, Houston Audubon

The Ruby-crowned Kinglet is named for the ruby crown patch that they display during spring and summer on a singing male. Although the bird is named for its ruby crown this feature is not usually visible so other clues must be used to identify it. The ruby-crowned Kinglet is olive-green with a white eye ring and wing bar. They are truly tiny birds, but what they lack in size they make up for in energy. This small songbird can be seen hopping energetically between branches while flicking their wings as they go.

Breeding Ruby-crowned Kinglets prefer coniferous forests and typically prefer older forests since they nest high in trees. The rest of the year they can also be seen in deciduous forests, shrubby habitat, and suburban areas. The Ruby-crowned Kinglet typically preys upon invertebrates such as spiders and insects, foraging high in trees and picking off prey from branches and leaves. They can also eat small amounts of seeds and fruit.

Greg Lavaty
Greg Lavaty
 Visit our Bird Gallery to read about other Texas birds! 

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