Species of the Month: Goldcrest
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February Species of the Month: Goldcrest
Scientific Name: Regulus regulus
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.
The goldcrest’s diet commonly consists of spiders, moth eggs and other small insects.
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?
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
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