The Goldcrest (Regulus regulus) is the smallest bird species in Ireland and is often found in coniferous woodlands, known for its bright yellow crown feathers.
The Goldcrest is the smallest bird in Ireland weighing just 6 grams and measuring about 9cm in length. It is greenish-olive on the upperparts and has bright yellow underparts which are framed by a black border. The male bird has a bright orange stripe on its crown while the female has a more muted yellow stripe.
The Goldcrest feeds mainly on insects and spiders, often foraging on the upper branches of conifer trees which makes up most of their diet.
Goldcrests are native to Ireland and are commonly found in coniferous forests, mixed woodland, parks and gardens throughout the country.
On average, the Goldcrest has a wingspan of 14cm and its wings are very short and rounded making it one of the sharpest and fastest fliers among the passerines.
The male Goldcrest is a little brighter in colour than the female, and has an orange stripe on its crown. The female has a yellow stripe but not as bright as the male.
Goldcrests can be found in various parts of Ireland, but they thrive best in coniferous forests where they are most common.
Goldcrests can be found in Ireland throughout the year, but their numbers might reduce during the breeding season.
The Goldcrest is known for its unique ability to lower its body temperature by as much as 2°C to reduce energy usage at nights. They are also known to weigh the same as a 20c coin and are often a popular sight among bird enthusiasts in Ireland.