Ruby-crowned Kinglets are tiny, extremely active migrants throughout most
of the state, as well as a summer resident in the Black Hills. They are very often seen foraging in mixed flocks containing kinglets,
nuthatches, and warblers. The male's ruby-crown is only raised in
excitement, and is generally quite difficult to spot.
coniferous forest for breeding. Can be found in a wide variety of forest
and shrub habitats during migration and in winter.
Diet: Primarily insects. Will eat
berries and seeds (primarily in winter), and will feed on tree sap.
Behavior: Extremely active foragers, constantly moving
and flicking it's wings and tail as it clambers through foliage in search of
food. They will also hover and glean insects from foliage.
Nesting: June and July. The nest of a
Ruby-crowned Kinglet is a deep cup of mosses, twigs, lichens, evergreen needles,
bark strips, and other material, lined with softer feathers and plant down.
The nest is usually in a spruce tree or sometimes another evergreen, from
relatively clsoe to the ground to very high in the canopy. The female
usually lays between 6 and 8 eggs, and she alone incubates the eggs, with the
male feeding her during the incubation period. When the eggs hatch, both
parents help to feed the young. The young fledge after about 17 days.
Migration: Summers throughout
much of Canada, the western U.S., the Great Lakes region, and the northeastern
U.S. Winters throughout much of the southern, western, and eastern U.S., and
Conservation Status: Ruby-crowned Kinglets are found
over a very wide geographic area, they are common in many areas, and their
population appears to be stable.
The IUCN lists the
Ruby-crowned Kinglet as a species of "Least Concern".
Cornell University's "All About Birds - Ruby-crowned Kinglet"
Photo Information: October 5th, 2008 - Minnehaha
County, South Dakota - Terry Sohl
Additional Photos: Click on the image chips or
text links below for additional, higher-resolution Ruby-crowned Kinglet