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  • The goldcrest is a very small passerine bird in the kinglet family

 Goldcrest facts

  • Its colourful golden crest feathers gives rise to its English and scientific names, and possibly to it being called the "king of the birds" in European folklore
  • Several subspecies are recognised across the very large distribution range that includes much of Eurasia and the islands of Macaronesia
  • Birds from the north and east of its breeding range migrate to winter further south
  • This kinglet has greenish upper-parts, whitish under-parts, and has two white wingbars
  • It has a plain face contrasting black irises and a bright head crest, orange and yellow in the male and yellow in the female, which is displayed during breeding
  • It superficially resembles the firecrest, which largely shares its European range, but the latter's bronze shoulders and strong face pattern are distinctive
  • The song is a repetition of high thin notes, slightly higher-pitched than those of its relative
  • Birds on the Canary Islands are now separated into two subspecies of the goldcrest, but were formerly considered to be a subspecies of the common firecrest or a separate species, Regulus teneriffae
  • 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

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