Ruby Crowned Kinglet

Ruby Crowned Kinglet, Vancouver Island, BC
Ruby-Crowned Kinglet, Vancouver Island, BC, Photo By Robert Logan

The ruby-crowned kinglet is not very common on the North Island but the South Island around Victoria has a larger population of them.

Ruby-crowned kinglets have bold and incomplete white eye-rings. Their legs are black and their feet, yellow. Male ruby-crowned kinglets have bright red crests, which can be raised when the bird is excited but which are more often completely hidden. Females look like males but lack the red crest.

The ruby-crowned kinglet is native to North America. Both the male and female have olive-grey plumage with a thin black bill and a short tail. The male bears a red crown which gives the bird its common name.

The ruby-crowned kinglet eats insects, other invertebrates, and fruits by hovering and snatching them from the tree canopies. Breeding season is from mid-May to mid-August. This species can be found in coastal scrub areas, forest areas, and thick hedges bordering yards.

The ruby-crowned kinglet is a small songbird found throughout North America. Typical breeding habitats of this bird include coniferous woodlands in Canada, Alaska, northern New England, and the western United States. Nests are cup-shaped and suspended from branches on the conifers. In the winter months, this species migrates southward to the southern United States and Mexico. Most Vancouver Island populations are permanent residents. Recently, less disturbed populations have been discovered farther north along the coast of B.C. This year (2013) there are quite a few in the Campbell River area and we are hearing from friends that there are a lot showing up on the North Island around Port Hardy as well. So get out and see if you can spot one of these little wonders.

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