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Goldcrest by Rob Miller

Goldcrest

Regulus regulus

Key Facts

  • Length: 9cm
  • Wingspan: 14cm
  • Weight: 6g
  • Average Lifespan: 2 years

Goldcrests are tiny birds of conifer woodland, scrub, parks and gardens. As well as our own resident birds, large numbers arrive on the east coast during autumn migration, and are often found in bushes on sand dunes.

It is widespread in the UK, apart from in areas which are treeless such as fens and northern Scotland. In winter, it will join other tits and woodland birds in flocks. Although it is our smallest songbird, the Goldcrest can lay up to 12 eggs in a clutch, which is about one and a half times the adult female’s bodyweight.

How to Identify

A tiny little bird, the Goldcrest is olive-green above, buff-white below, with a double white wingbar. The male has a bright orange crown, edged with black; while the female has a yellow crown. The similar Firecrest is a much rarer bird, with a black eyestripe and broad white eyebrow stripe.

Where to Find

Widespread.

How People Can Help

The Wildlife Trusts manage many woodland nature reserves sympathetically for Goldcrests and other, rare bird species. You can help too: volunteer for The Wildlife Trusts and you could be involved in everything from traditional forest crafts to raising awareness about birds.

Did you know?

Weighing in at less than 6 grams, the Goldcrest is Europe’s smallest bird. Despite its size, its beautiful golden crown has earned it the title of ‘King of the Birds’ in European folklore.

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