Common Name

Scientific Name


Photo by Jim Bailey, Utah Nature Photography
Photo Copyright Jim Bailey

The golden-crowned kinglet, Regulus satrapa, is a small, plump songbird that breeds in boreal, subalpine, and mixed coniferous forests in southwestern Alaska, Canada, and the northeastern and western United States. This hardy bird winters in coniferous and deciduous forests across the United States and into northeastern Mexico. It is an uncommon year-round resident in Utah, where it migrates from higher elevation summer breeding grounds to valley woodlands in the winter.

The diet of the golden-crowned kinglet consists primarily of insects that are either gleaned from leaves and limbs, or chased down and captured. Pairs normally have two broods per year, quite an accomplishment for a bird that breeds at such northern latitudes; pairs remain together through both nestings. The male and female construct a deep, hanging cup-shaped nest using a variety of materials including moss, bark, and feathers. The nest is placed high in a tree, close to the trunk, to keep it well protected from the elements. The female incubates nine eggs, and the male feeds her during that time. The young are born naked and blind, and both parents care for the young, though the female primarily stays with the young to keep them warm. The chicks leave the nest after about eighteen days, and the male continues to feed the young for about fifteen days thereafter. The female doesn't feed the first fledglings, because she is incubating her second clutch of eggs, but she will feed the fledglings from her second brood.


  • Behle, W. H., Sorensen, E. D. and C. M. White. 1985. Utah birds: a revised checklist. Utah Museum of Natural History, Occasional Publication No. 4. Salt Lake City, UT.

  • Peterson, R. T. 1966. A field guide to western birds, second edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, MA.

  • Ingold, J. L., and R. Galati. 1997. Golden-crowned Kinglet (Regulus satrapa). Birds of North America 301.