Corthylio Calendula – Ruby-Crowned Kinglet

Corthylio Calendula - Ruby-Crowned Kinglet in the US

Small passerine bird called in Latin as Corthylio calendula, Ruby-Crowned Kinglet found in North America. It is a kinglet. Green plumage with white wing bars and an eye ring. Males have a hidden red crown patch. In terms of plumage, the sexes are identical (except the crown). It’s one of North America’s tiniest songbirds The ruby-crowned kinglet is placed in its own genus, Corthylio in the family of Regulidae.

Quick Overview: Corthylio Calendula – Ruby-Crowned Kinglet
Body size: Around 4.25 in (11 cm) and a weight of 6 g (0.2 oz)
Main colors: Green-gray, White, Red
Range: Throughout the United States
Migratory Bird: Yes
Best time of the year to see in the U.S.: January, February, December
Conservation Status: Least Concern

Ruby-crowned kinglet Description

The Ruby-crowned Kinglet is a small bird with a lot of activity. Its habit of continually flapping its wings helps identify it. This simple green-gray bird has a white eyering and a white stripe on the wing. The male’s bright ruby crown patch is generally covered, so look for an enthusiastic male singing in spring or summer.

Corthylio Calendula - Ruby-Crowned Kinglet in the US
Corthylio Calendula – Ruby-Crowned Kinglet. Photo by: Isaac Sanchez


These birds have a length of 4.25 in (11 cm) and a weight of 6 g (0.2 oz). Their wings could range from 6.75-7.5 in (17-19 cm).


Acrobatic birds that move swiftly through vegetation, usually at lower and intermediate levels of the forest canopy, are restless and acrobatic birds. As they fly, they nearly continually flap their wings back and forth.


Ruby-crowned Kinglets are fast-moving but quiet tiny birds. You could see one dart into view and keep darting through the forest, nearly too quick for you to follow up. Keep a watch out for their wing-flicking behavior. The ruby crest of this bird is typically obscured. Listen for the male’s booming song (frequently delivered during migration and mating season) and the double-noted call (distinguishable once learned).


Rusty-crowned kinglets hunt aggressively in trees and bushes, preying mostly on tiny insects and spiders, with some fruit and tree sap thrown in for good measure. It is common for them to linger above a limb while eating, and they will occasionally fly out to grab insects in flight.

Corthylio calendula Scientific Classification

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Subphylum: Chelicerata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Regulidae
  • Genus: Corthylio
  • Species: Corthylio calendula


Currently, there are three (3) subspecies recognized in these species.

Best time of the year to see

The best time to see these birds in the United States is during the winter season (December to February).

Distribution of the Ruby-crowned kinglet in the USA

Ruby-crowned Kinglets may be seen breeding across northern and western North America, as well as in the western highlands. While most mountain people in the West simply relocate to lower elevations during the colder months, certain mountain populations in the southern and southwestern United States and Mexico do so as well during the winter months.

The Ruby-crowned kinglet can be found in the following states in the United States – Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Corthylio Calendula – Ruby-Crowned Kinglet

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