Goldcrest Regulus regulus

Goldcrest in Lancashire England. Image courtesy of Francis C Franklin CC BY-SA 3,0 licenseFile:Goldcrest 1.jpg


For this species the text is taken from the book " A handbook to the Birds of Great Britain", by Richard Bowdler  Sharpe, printed in London between 1894-1897. The description habitat and lifestyle  are still relevant today. This historical look at the perception of the bird at that time is for an added interest of this species. The text is taken from the book courtesy of the Biodiversity Heritage Library. The Book is now in the Public domain. The images are my personal choice {see reuse of images below}.


Mr Sharpe describes the bird as follows--" Adult male, general colour above green,inclining to lighter more yellowish-green on the lower back; Rump and upper tail coverts, all of which are mottled with ashy white spots, more or less concealed; lesser wing coverts like the 


particular insects it finds in those trees. Yew avenues, therefore, and  fir woods are surely to be tenanted, by plenty of Goldcrests, whose not quickly leads to their detection, and the birds may be seen hanging on the slender twigs, or climbing about the branches like little mice, the males stopping every now and again to emit a musical little song."

The Nest -" This is a beautiful structure of green moss,usually suspended ,like an hammock, under a branch of a Pine or Yew tree, and very well concealed. But according to Mr Howard Saunders ,it has occasionally be found on the upper surface of a branch, and even in a low bush. Besides the green moss of which the nest is generally composed,other materials, such as Spiders webs and hairs, are interwoven in the nest, and the latter is interlaced with the foliage of the branch on which it is hung, while the inside is softly lined with feathers.

Old drawing of the nest  Public domain.


Eggs-"-From five to eight in number. Ground colour a dark isabelline or creamy white, with a darker ring round the larger end. In the isabelline eggs this darker portion appears uniform, the spots being so closely clustered together as to produce this effect.In the whiter eggs the large end is distinctly spotted with reddish-brown forming an irregular zone, in which appear dark underlying markings. 

Goldcrest eggs.

Image courtesy of Didier Descouens CC BY-SA 3.0 license.

Goldcrest female, England.

Image courtesy of Missy Osbom CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

Status UK.

This species is vulnerable to cold weather. In severe winters the UK's smallest bird may have its numbers decimated. After one such winter it was placed on the Amber list of conservation concern. However, numbers have recovered and now it has been reinstated to the Green list meaning there are no current conservation concerns.

Length 9 cm Wingspan 14 cm Weight 6g  UK breeding . 610,000 breeding territories. Resident. 


Conservation status 2021

UK- Green List. No current concerns.

Europe-Species of least concern. 

Reuse of images 

The images on this page may be reused,however, the name of the relevant author must be attributed along with any accompanying license. 

Thank you for visiting.