Species of the month

Species of the Month: Goldcrest

Goldcrest © Chris Lawrence

Help us with our wildlife surveys

Our Species of the Month species surveys are an important way you can help us! Our conservation teams use the data you provide us with to monitor population numbers. So please help us help wildlife by filling in the form below. Thank you!

February Species of the Month: Goldcrest

Scientific Name: Regulus regulus

Identification

The goldcrest is identifiable by its bright coloured crown. It is olive-green above, buff-white chested, with a double white wingbar. The male has a bright orange stripe on its head, edged with black; while the female has a yellow one. 

Goldcrest © Andy Morffew

Goldcrest © Andy Morffew

Diet

The goldcrest’s diet commonly consists of spiders, moth eggs and other small insects. 

 

Behaviour

As monogamous mates, both male and female goldcrests build their nests which suspend at the end of the branches of a conifer tree. 

Despite their small size, many goldcrests migrate to Britain from Eastern Europe and Scandinavia to avoid the extreme cold winters.  

Did you know?

Weighing only 6g on average, the goldcrest is Europe’s smallest bird. 

It was once thought that the goldcrest flying unaided across the North Sea was so unlikely that they were called 'woodcock pilots' – believing that they hitched a ride in the plumage of the woodcocks that migrate at the same time. 

Where can they be found?

The goldcrest is widespread and can be found in woodland all over the UK (especially coniferous). However, they can also be seen in towns and gardens. 

See if you can spot one at a number of our reserves including: 

Broad Oak Orchard 

Corfe Barrows Nature Park 

Sopley Common Nature Reserve 

 

Wildlife gardening tips

Goldcrests will often visit gardens but don’t tend to use seed feeders and tables, however they may occasionally peck at a fat ball if the winter is especially tough. 

Ensure there are places where goldcrest can build their nests such as a woodland border. 

Allow your garden to be friendly for insects and moths such as by installing a “bug hotel” or ensuring there are plenty of flowers for moth larvae to feed on. This will ensure that the food chain is in sufficient condition to support visiting goldcrest. 

 

Species of the Month sightings form

Your details will only be used by Dorset Wildlife Trust and we will never give your information to other organisations to use for their own purposes. You can change your communications preference at any time by contacting us on 01202 692033. When you have completed the form, please click the Send button.

Please tick to confirm you are happy for us to keep details of your sighting on our database. In filling in this form and providing us with your email address you are consenting to us contacting you about your sighting.
Where appropriate we would like to pass on the details of your sighting to the Dorset Environmental Records Centre in order for it to be of use in local and national conservation projects. Please tick if you are happy for us to do this.
We will never give your information to any other organisation to use for their own purposes.
Please click here to see our privacy policy and cookies.
Please click here if you would like to change your contact preferences.
Thanks!

Support Dorset's wildlife through our shop

Shop for wildlife

Blue tit © Stewart Canham