Species profile

Name: the goldcrest (Regulus regulus) is a tiny songbird in the kinglet family.

Appearance: goldcrest are a greenish, brown colour with pale chests. Their name comes from the colourful golden feathers which sit on top of their heads.  They are similar in appearance to the common firecrest although firecrest have bronze shoulders and bright white eyebrows.

Size: goldcrest are one of the smallest birds in Europe, measuring only 8 cm in length and weighing around 5 grams.

Diet: like other birds in this family, they mainly feed on insects such as springtails, aphids, and spiders.

Did you know: Aristotle and Pliny both wrote about the legend of a contest among the birds to see who could fly the highest and be crowned king. Initially, it looked as though the eagle would win, but as they began to tire, a small bird that had hidden under the eagle’s tail feathers emerged to fly even higher and claim the title. Following this legend, the goldcrest has been known as the ‘king of birds’ in much of European folklore – although there is some competition with the wren for this title.

Location: goldcrest breed in coniferous woodlands and gardens throughout Europe, including much of the Palearctic and the islands of Macaronesia and Iceland.

Where to see Goldcrest

According to reports submitted to WildSide, you can see goldcrest in the following places:

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Photo credit: TheOtherKev under a Creative Commons licence from Pixabay

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