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Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

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Forest and Rangeland Birds of the United States

Natural History and Habitat Use

Golden-crowned Kinglet -- Regulus satrapa

RANGE: Breeds from southern Alaska to northern Alberta, southern Quebec, and Newfoundland south in the coastal and interior mountains to southern and eastern California, southern Utah, south-central New Mexico, Mexico, Guatemala, and east of the Rockies to southern Manitoba, north-central Michigan, New York, eastern Tennessee, western North Carolina, northern New Jersey, and southern Maine. Winters from south-coastal Alaska and southern Canada south to northern Baja California, through the breeding range to Guatemala, the Gulf Coast, and central Florida.

STATUS: Common in parts of its range; has declined in western regions.

HABITAT: Breeds primarily in dense coniferous forests, especially where spruce is present. Winters in coniferous forests and occasionally in deciduous woodland scrub and brush.

NEST: Builds a globular nest with entrance at the top, woven into the twigs of a horizontal limb of a conifer.

FOOD: Forages over leaves, branches, and trunks, feeding almost entirely on insects and their eggs (bark beetles, scale insects) and especially plant lice. In summer, feeds mainly on flying insects.

REFERENCES: Bent 1949, DeGraff et al. 1980, Forbush and May 1955, Tate and Tate 1982, Terres 1980.

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