Goldcrest - Hebridean Birds Sightings

Western Isles Birds Sightings - The goldcrest is the Uk's smallest bird.


Really pretty birds that love pine needles as their beak is ideally suited for picking out the insects between the needles.

They are a dull greyish-green with a pale belly and a black and yellow stripe on their heads, which has an orange centre in males.

You can often see the them in and amongst flocks of other birds, not seen that often here in The Western Isles
although more so in recent years
Goldcrest -  Western Isles Bird Sightings
Bird Overview - Cuckoos
Warblers and allies (Sylviidae)
Latin name
Regulus regulus

Green Status in RSPB's list 2014

Similar Species
It is similar in appearance to a warbler, with olive-green upper-parts, buff-white underparts, two white wing bars, and a plain face with conspicuous black irises.

The crown of the head has black sides and a narrow black front, and a bright crest, yellow with an orange centre in the male, and entirely yellow in the female the crest is erected in display, making the distinctive orange stripe of the male much more conspicuous.

The small, thin bill is black, and the legs are dark flesh-brown. Apart from the crest colour, the sexes are alike, although in fresh plumage, the female may have very slightly paler upper-parts and greyer underparts than the adult male. The juvenile is similar to the adult, but has duller upper-parts and lacks the coloured crown

8.5–9.5 cm (3.3–3.7 in) in length
13.5–15.5 cm (5.3–6.1 in) wingspan
weight of 4.5–7.0 g (0.16–0.25 oz).
Conifer forests or plantations are full of goldcrests, as they love pine trees. There are some British resident birds, who are joined by birds from Scandinavia, Poland and Russia during the winter months. The cold weather in the 60's saw their numbers dropping, however they are now quite secure

These lovely tiny birds, the goldcrests eat tiny morsels like spiders, moth eggs and other small insect food, especially spiders and caterpillars and flies. The goldcrest feeds in trees, frequently foraging on the undersides of branches and leaves.

Flying insects are caught when the goldcrest is hovering in flight, goldcrests will occasionally feed from the ground amongst leaf litter. None animal food and seed is rearely in the goldcrest's diet

Their song is a quiet, high pitched twittering: "tweedly tweedly tweedly twiddleedidee". The call is a quiet "zi" or "zi-zi-zi", .

The goldcrest breeds in coniferous woodland and gardens, building its compact, three-layered nest on a tree branch. Ten to twelve eggs are incubated by the female alone, and the chicks are fed by both parents; second broods are common.



The goldcrest is monogamous. The male sings during the breeding season, usually while foraging rather than from a perch. It has a display involving bowing its head towards another bird and raising the coloured crest

The nest's outer layer is made from moss, small twigs, cobwebs and lichen, the cobwebs also being used to attach the nest to the thin branches that support it. The middle layer is moss, which is lined by an inner layer of feathers and hair.

Misc. Info
The flight is distinctive; it consists of whirring wing-beats with occasional sudden changes of direction. Shorter flights while feeding are a mix of dashing and fluttering with frequent hovering.
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