Birds on Stamps

Regulus regulus 

Regulus regulus

In English en

The Goldcrest (Regulus regulus) is our smallest bird. It’s about 9 cm in length and the average weight after a summer of feasting is sumptuous 5.7 grams. In Finland, the Goldcrest lives both as a migratory and a local bird – the majority migrates south most of the time, but some always remain for winter, joining mixed flocks of local tits. Because of this, the stock varies a lot: On the coldest winters, the entirety of the birds that did not migrate can be annihilated, which is obviously reflected in the size of the stock for several years. If very unlucky, even the migrated birds might experience poor winter conditions, in which case the stock collapses. The Goldcrest is very quick to recover, however, but regardless the estimates of stock sizes have a very large margin of error, ranging from 500.000 to 1.300.000 couples for the last few years. The Goldcrest is our 13th most common nesting species.

Jussi Seppä describes the nesting and the appearance of the Goldcrest in his book “Linnut ja maisema (1945)” as follows (translated from Finnish):


In our spring concerto, we do not know of another bird who would play the violin so brightly. So does the Goldcrest spend day after another, and so grows the smell of pitch ever fresher in the woods.


But the song has not been for naught, for with the bonds of heart it has joined together two tiny creatures, who now begin to build a tiny nest. The couple picks up hanging moss from the trees and spins it around the needles of a spruce’s branch, carrying in moss and lichen and forming the nest into the shape of a chalice, tying it to the branches with a spider’s web, decorating it with feathers. So is the small house finished.


One day, at the beginning of July, nine small Goldcrest sons can be found in the nest, hungrily waiting for the food brought in by their parents – insect eggs, insects and small larvae. The sons grow up fast. Once they have learned to take care of themselves, the parents take on the task of raising yet another brood.

The Goldcrest is one of our most beautiful birds for its color, and possesses a protective camouflage. The bird is grayish green from the top and light grey at the bottom, slightly tilting towards green. There’s a white stripe on the wings, and a reddish-yellow stripe with a black lining on the crown. The young birds are olive green, with sepia-brown feathers.

You can listen to the Goldcrest’s song from HERE, unless you’re like me and unable to hear it.

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Tyrvään Lintu