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Order Song birds/Passeriformes, Family Kinglets/Regulidae

Firecrest/Regulus ignicapilla - Adult

L 9-10 cm. Breeds in deciduous and mixed woods, but will also be found in conifers (incl. pines, cedars). Short-range migrant. Behaviour as Goldcrest. Nests in conifers.
IDENTIFICATION: Like Goldcrest, best located and identified by its calls. Minute size and general coloration narrow possibilities down to a few. Unlike Goldcrest, has prominent white supercilium and black eye-stripe. Also, side of neck bright greenish-yellow, tinged ochrous, not plain grey-green as on Goldcrest. Crown as Goldcrest, but black lateral crown-stripes join across forehead. - Adult male: Much orange on crown, usually visible also when relaxed. - Adult female: No or very little orange visible on centre of crown, those with most being difficult to sex in the field. - Juvenile: Lacks distinct crown pattern until autumn moult, but has striped face pattern reminiscent of adult but duller. - Variation: On Madeira (ssp. madeirensis) shorter supercilium and longer bill.
VOICE: Contact-call similar to that of Goldcrest but slightly lower-pitched, usually opens with a longer and more stressed note followed by 2-3 shorter and slightly accelerating and rising notes, ‘züü zü-zi-zi’. Song a repetition of the same fine, high-pitched note, slightly rising in pitch initially and in strength, and ending in a brief trill; it lacks the cyclic rhythm of Goldcrest’s song.

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