Kinglets are…adorable. The Latin family name Regulidae means “pretty king” and derives from the crowns shown on the tops of their heads, particularly for the males. Females lay as many as a dozen eggs at a time. Unlike many bird species in which feeding time for the young is an exercise in the survival of the fittest, kinglets chicks tend to share their food with those receiving the first bits working their way down to the bottom of the pile and subsequently pushing the other chicks up to the top. This behavior helps the tiny kinglets survive in a tough world of cold and predators where adult mortality is as high as 80% per year. Below are pictures of both species of kinglet present in Montana including a ruby-crowned kinglet just beginning to show his crown and a golden-crowned kinglet proudly displaying his.
Ruby-crowned kinglet - Regulus calendula
Golden-crowned kinglet - Regulus satrapa
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