this goldcrest was working hard in the winter sunshine searching for bugs.
Canon 40D, sigma 150-500mm @500mm
ISO400, F6.3 1/400sec
The Goldcrest, Regulus regulus, is a very small passerine bird in the kinglet family, resembling the Firecrest but with a plainer face.
The Goldcrest is the smallest European bird, measuring from 8.5 to 9.5 cm and weighing as little as 5g. It is dull greenish above, with buff/white underparts, two white wingbars, and a plain face with a conspicuous black eye. The crown has black sides and a narrow black front, and a bright central crest, orange in the male and yellow in the female, which is displayed during breeding. It is a restless species, constantly on the move as it searches for insects.
Considerable radiation of the Goldcrest into distinct taxa has occurred in the Canary and Azores archipelagos.
 Distribution and habitat
The Goldcrest has a wide range in Eurasia, as well as in Macaronesia. It is partly migratory and in northern Europe and Asia birds winter south of the breeding range. It prefers coniferous woodlands, although it has a wider range in winter, when it is often found with tit flocks.
Money spiders can form part of their diet.4
It builds an open nest and lays 4-12 eggs.
 Relationship with humans
In Britain, Goldcrests were previously called Gold-crested Wrens, and are celebrated in a poem by Charles Tennyson Turner with that title. It is the national bird of Luxembourg.
1. ^ Vaurie, Charles. (1954). Systematic notes on Palearctic birds. No. 8, Sylviinae, the genus Regulus. American Museum Novitates 1684.1
2. ^ Avibase Accessed 7 January 2008
3. ^ Päckert, Martin; Dietzen, Christian; Martens, Jochen; Wink, Michael & Kvist, Laura. (2006). Radiation of Atlantic goldcrests Regulus regulus spp.: evidence of a new taxon from the Canary Islands. Journal of Avian Biology 37(4): 364-380. Digital Object Identifier: 10.1111/j.2006.0908-8857.03533.x HTML abstract Electronic Appendices
4. ^ RSPB Birds magazine, Winter 2004