Regulus calendula ssp. obscurus Ridgway

Guadalupe Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Regulus calendula ssp. obscurus)  

The Ruby-crowned Kinglet is a very small bird found throughout North America, two subspecies are recognized, both of which are migratory birds. The birds that formerly inhabited Isla Guadalupe offshore Baja California / Mexico are still officially regarded as a third subspecies.  


The Guadalupe Ruby-crowned Kinglet was described in the year 1876, the birds reached sizes of 9 to 11 cm and differed markedly from the two mainland races. The birds from Guadalupe were sedentary, not migratory, they had a dark brownish tinged body plumage and a pink, not red crown patch. The vocalizations were different as well.  

In my opinion these differences indicate that the birds from Guadalupe should rather be treated as a distinct species than as a subspecies.  

The last Guadalupe Ruby-crowned Kinglets were reported in 1953, all subsequent searches failed to find them and the (sub)species is now considered extinct. [1]  



[1] Lorenzo Quintana-Barrios; Gorgonio Ruiz-Campos; Philip Unitt; Richard A. Erickson: Update on the birds of Isla Guadalupe, Baja California. Western Birds 37: 23-36. 2006


edited: 17.10.2020