This is a tiny bird – between hummingbird and sparrow sized, but fatter in proportions. Its key feature is the yellow, black-bordered stripe right on top of its head. It also has a white eye stripe, tiny bill, and greenish yellow back and wings. Its front is a dingy grayish white and it has black legs but yellow feet. Juveniles’ head-stripe is less pronounced.
The Golden-Crowned Kinglet flits in hyperactive mode seeking insects. It almost hovers at times, grabbing victims from beneath a leaf or at a twig tip. It generally prefers conifers but will forage on other trees. It often joins mixed species flocks and may be seen with chickadees or ruby-crowned kinglets.
What brings it to the SBG?
Probably food and cover, because of the abundant insect life and presence of standing plants in winter. However, this species has expanded its breeding range into our area. Since it prefers to nest in conifers such as hemlock, though, it is not likely to nest at SBG.
When can I see it?
Mainly in winter.