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Conservation status: Green

With the firecrest, the goldcrest is the UK's smallest bird. They're dull greyish-green with a pale belly and a black and yellow stripe on their heads, which has an orange centre in males. Their thin beak is ideally suited for picking insects out from between pine needles.

Illustrations

Overview

Latin name

Regulus regulus

Family

Warblers and allies (Sylviidae)

Where to see them

Pine forests are the best places to see goldcrests, but they range around in flocks of other small birds during autumn and winter. They're widespread and common across the whole of the UK; in autumn, large numbers arrive on the east coast from Scandinavia and make their way across dunes to more suitable habitat.

When to see them

Any time of year.

What they eat

Goldcrests eat tiny morsels like spiders, moth eggs and other small insect food.

Population

EuropeUK breeding*UK wintering*UK passage*
-610,000 territories3-5 million birds-

Distribution

Key

In the UK
UK wide

Audio

Patrik Aberg, Xeno-canto

Similar birds