Regulus Satrapa – Golden-Crowned Kinglet

Regulus satrapa - Golden-crowned kinglet in the US

The scientific name for the Golden-crowned Kinglet is Regulus satrapa, which means “golden-crowned kinglet” is a tiny songbird found across much of North America.  The Greek term satrapes refers to a king who is crowned with a golden halo. Only one day after their departure from the nest does the female Golden-crowned Kinglet continue to feed her huge brood of fledglings. These species are in the family of Regulidae.

Quick Overview: Regulus Satrapa – Golden-Crowned Kinglet
Body size: Around 3.5-4 in (9-10 cm) and a weight of 6 g (0.2 oz)
Main colors: Orange, Yellow, Green, White, Black
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

Golden-Crowned Kinglet Description

The golden-crowned kinglet’s crown feathers are distinctive. Both sexes have a black feather ring around their heads. Male juveniles lack or have a weak orange-yellow crown. The back and wings are olive, with a white stripe on the wings. The underbelly is lighter tan. It has a tiny black beak. Small golden-crowned kinglet, male and female mass differ. Males weigh 6.3 g and females 6.1 g. Geographic ranges have varying sizes.

Regulus satrapa - Golden-crowned kinglet in the US
Regulus Satrapa – Golden-Crowned Kinglet. Photo by: Isaac Sanchez


These birds have a length of 3.5-4 in (9-10 cm) and a weight of 6 g (0.2 oz). Their wings could range from 6.5-7 in (17-18 cm).


The golden-crowned kinglet eats insects. These include harlequin bugs, ladybirds, and numerous caterpillar species. Spiders, mites, and their eggs are important food sources. Some people eat gastropods.


Golden-crowned kinglets like coniferous woods. They also live in mixed conifer and deciduous woods. Their woodland habitats vary. Golden-crowned kinglets inhabit both sparse and thick understory kinds of wood. They live in woods with a variety of canopy types, from thick to open. Due to movement and a wide geographic range, golden-crowned kinglets can be found in taiga, suburban, urban, and wetland habitats.


Golden-crowned kinglets are an arboreal species that prefers conifers. Golden-crowned kinglets fly quickly and erratically. Other flight behaviors include lingering at branch ends and traveling in circuitous paths when flying long distances. They also saltatorial jump on the ground, twitching their wings as they do so. Molting can cause wing twitching. They may eat from twigs. They are diurnal and active in the morning and afternoon. Golden-crowned kinglets groom and bathe.

Regulus satrapa Scientific Classification

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

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 Golden-crowned kinglet in the USA

In North America, the golden-crowned kinglet, Regulus satrapa, the breeding range extends from southwest Alaska to Newfoundland. The golden-crowned kinglet breeds across the United States. The western coast of North America from southern Alaska to California has some year-round inhabitants. Northern and southern Utah, northeastern and central Arizona, central and western New Mexico, and central Colorado are all included in this year-round area. Year-round populations exist in the northeastern US and Canada, from Newfoundland to eastern West Virginia.

The Golden-crowned kinglet can also be found in the following states in the United States – Alabama, Arkansas, 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 York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Regulus Satrapa – Golden-Crowned Kinglet

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