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Female R. r. regulus in Lancashire
Male song in Surrey
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Regulidae
Genus: Regulus
R. regulus
Binomial name
Regulus regulus
   Breeding summer visitor
   Resident year-round
   Winter visitor
(ranges are approximate)
  • Motacilla regulus Linnaeus, 1758
  • Regulus cristatus
Subspecies R. r. himalayensis at Vinayak village in Uttarakhand, India
Bathing goldcrest at Utrecht in the Netherlands

The goldcrest (Regulus regulus) is a tiny passerine bird in the kinglet family. Its colourful golden crest feathers gives rise to its popular name. The scientific name, R. regulus, means king or knight.[2]

There are several subspecies. The bird has a very large distribution range: much of the Palearctic and the islands of Macaronesia and Iceland. Birds from the north and east of its breeding range migrate to winter further south.

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

This little bird is always on the move as it searches for insects to eat. In winter it is often found with flocks of tits. It may be killed by birds of prey or carry parasites, but its large range and population means it is doing quite well. It is not a conservation concern.

References[change | change source]

  1. BirdLife International (2018). "Regulus regulus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2018. Retrieved 22 August 2019.
  2. All about the goldcrest