Introducing the Goldcrest, famously recognized as the “King of the Birds” despite its small size in the United Kingdom. Donning a vibrant crest, this little bird sure knows how to make a big impact.
The goldcrest is a teeny tiny bird belonging to the kinglet family. It’s not only the smallest bird found in Britain, but it also holds the title of the smallest bird in Europe. Measuring in at a mere 3.3-3.7 inches long, this little guy has olive-green feathers on its upper body with white feathers on its underbelly. It also boasts two white wing bars and a head adorned with black sides and a narrow black front. On males, the head is topped off with a bright yellow-orange crest. The bill is black, and the legs are a dark brown hue.
Aside from the difference in crest color where females are yellow, both male and female birds look quite similar. Young birds resemble adults, but their upperparts are typically less vibrant, and they don’t have a colored crown.
Numerous subspecies have been identified over a vast region that encompasses the majority of the Palearctic as well as Micronesia and Iceland.
These feathered creatures have a preference for residing and multiplying in regions with coniferous trees and a blend of wooded areas. During non-breeding periods, they also take pleasure in dwelling within shrubs and deciduous trees.
The Goldcrest bird feeds primarily on tiny insects and spiders that inhabit trees. In the colder months, it switches to consuming seeds and insects that can be found on the ground. The Goldcrest’s young flourish rapidly as they are nourished by a diet that includes insect larvae and small spiders.
In the season of breeding, it is the female who constructs a cozy three-layered abode on a tree branch. The nest is made with cobwebs, moss, and twigs, taking a cup-like shape. It is then lined with feathers and hair to give it a soft interior, where the female lays around 10-12 eggs that she incubates for 15 days. After hatching, the mother bird continues to nurture and protect her chicks while the male helps in feeding them.
Although the population of this species has reduced lately, it still does not meet the standards for being classified as vulnerable based on size criteria, as it has an extensive range.