Birds of North Carolina:
their Distribution and Abundance
Golden-crowned Kinglet - Regulus satrapa
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General Comments The Golden-crowned Kinglet is one of the smallest passerines in the country, even slightly smaller than the Ruby-crowned Kinglet. Both kinglets breed across the boreal parts of the continent, but only the Golden-crowned nests in the Appalachian chain. In North Carolina, it is a characteristic bird of the spruce-fir forests, but it also nests farther down-slope where there are stands of White Pines and formerly hemlocks. Because of the recent loss of hemlocks, and perhaps because of global warming, the nesting population seems to be on a slow decline. The species is a common and widespread winter resident all across the state, being least numerous in the southeastern corner of the state. At that season, kinglets favor pine forests or mixed pine-hardwood forests, and they are often the most common member of the mixed species flocks that roam through such forests.
Breeding Status Breeder
NC BRC List Definitive
State Status W
U.S. Status
State Rank S3S4B,S5N
Global Rank G5
Coastal Plain Winter resident. Common over nearly all of the region, though only fairly common near and along the southern coast. Scarce in some areas on coastal islands; in fact, most numerous on many islands in Oct, after cold fronts. During and after severely cold weather, becomes less common. Mainly early Oct to early Apr. One at Manteo (Dare) from 10-21 Jun 2010 was inexplicable! Peak counts:
Piedmont Winter resident. Common to very common across most of the region; one of the more numerous birds in winter in many areas. During and after severe winter weather, can become quite scarce. Mainly early or mid-Oct to early Apr. Peak counts:
Mountains Permanent resident in much of the region; breeds in higher elevations, and winter resident elsewhere. In summer, common but apparently slightly declining, above about 4,500 feet; uncommon down to about 3,000 feet, in a few pockets of cool micro-climate. Winter resident across the region; generally common at low to mid-elevations, and fairly common at higher elevations. During and after severe weather, can become quite scarce. Peak counts:
Finding Tips None needed.
Attribution LeGrand[2023-03-27], LeGrand[2018-02-02], LeGrand[2012-09-18]
NC Map
Map depicts all counties with a report (transient or resident) for the species.
Click on county for list of all known species.
NC Breeding Season Map
Map depicts assumed breeding season abundance for the species.