The Ruby-crowned Kinglet is one of the smallest songbirds on the continent, weighing in at just a little more than half a chickadee. Mostly green and hard to spot, it hovers in mid-air as it catches tiny insects. In early spring, the kinglet's rollicking song echoes from the forest edge in the lowlands. By late May, he is singing and nesting at mile-high altitudes in mountain forests.
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The Ruby-crowned Kinglet Tunes Up
Written by Bob Sundstrom
This is BirdNote!
[The three-part Ruby-crowned Kinglet song]
It’s spring, and the Ruby-crowned Kinglet's loud, rollicking song echoes from the forest edge in northern and western lowlands. Listen carefully, and you can hear three distinct parts of its song. [Song of Ruby-crowned Kinglet]
This tiny powerhouse of a singer is one of the smallest songbirds on the continent, weighing in at just a little more than half a chickadee. Mostly green and hard to spot, flitting from twig to twig, it hovers in mid-air as it catches tiny insects. The green crown-feathers on the male kinglet conceal a swatch of red ones. When in the mood to sing, he raises this narrow, crimson crest. The kinglet’s Latin name suits it well: Regulus calendula—the "glowing little king," a regal luster that points to his ruby crown, but could also describe his song. [Song of Ruby-crowned Kinglet]
The Ruby-crowned Kinglet tunes up his spring song only in the lowlands. Later this month, he’ll depart to sing —and nest — at mile-high altitudes in our mountain forests.
[Song of Ruby-crowned Kinglet]
To see a photo of this bird, and all we feature on the show, come to our website BirdNote.org. I'm Mary McCann.
Song of the Ruby-crowned Kinglet provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Recorded by G.A. Keller.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2010 Tune In to Nature.org May 2010 / 2016 / 2019