Goldcrest (Regulus regulus)

This excellent and informative video on the goldcrest was created by BTO, the British Trust for Ornithology. You can see more of their videos here.

Goldcrest Facts

  • Scientific name: Regulus regulus

  • Family: Warblers and allies (Sylviidae)

  • Wingspan: 14 - 15cm (6")

  • Diet: Mainly insects and spiders

  • Feed with: suet mixed with insects, mealworm

  • Habitat: Goldcrests are attracted to pine forests, undergrowth and hedgerows and are widespread all across the UK. During the autumn and winter months, they can be be found ranging with flocks of smaller birds

  • Lifespan: 2 Years

  • Goldcrest Characteristics

    The goldcrest is the smallest bird in Europe, weighing on average just 5-7g (1/4 oz). With a characteristic dull olive-green top and white underbelly, the goldcrest is famed for the gold stripe on its crown, giving it a somewhat striking appearance. It is very similar to the Firecrest bird.

    Males and females differ only slightly. On the male, the crest stripe is orange; on the female, it is yellow.

    Goldcrests are very quick birds, which makes them hard to spot. They tend to scurry from place to place, and do so on branches and around tree trunks. They can be distinguished by their high pitched calls. Click on the audio file below.

    Conservation Status of the Goldcrest

    The Goldcrest is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List

    The Goldcrest is classified as Least Concern

    Goldcrest Feeding

    Goldcrests feed mainly on insects and spiders, and as such are ground feeders. It is rare for goldcrests to venture into the garden and feed from bird tables; however, on very cold winter days, goldcrests can be found feeding from bird tables. It is worth bearing this in mind if you want to feed goldcrests from your garden table. Bread crumbs and small bits of cheese will attract them to the table on these cold winter days.

    Goldcrest Breeding & Nesting

    Goldcrest nests can often be located on conifer branches and buried among ivy. Typically, the goldcrest nest is made of moss, spiders webbing and lichens and is usually found to be lined with feathers.

    Goldcrests eggs are a dull-white colour with light brown speckles. Breeding begins in late April; the incubation period lasts between 14-17 days and consequently there are around 19 fledge days. Both parents help to feed the young.

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