Firecrest Regulus ignicapilla   [Temminck, 1820]

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Order: Passeriformes Family: Sylviidae
BTO Codes: FC, FIREC EURING No: 13150
Number in Britain: 550 Territories (Summer)
Conservation Status:
European: Not a species of concern
Global: (Details)
Status in UK: (A)  Migrant/Resident Breeder, Passage/Winter Visitor
Subspecies: ignicapilla recorded in Britain (of 5 subsp. in the world)
Length: 9 cm Wingspan: 14 cm Weight: M/F: 6 g    
Scientific name from: L.: regulus=a prince or kinglet and L.: ignis=fire + capillus=capped
World Distribution: Europe, nw Africa & Near East
Habitat: Coniferous & mixed forest
Diet: Insects (esp aphids, springtails and caterpillars), spiders mostly on twigs in tree crown
TitBit: Now widespread as a breeding bird in much of southern England, the inhabitants of Wendover (Bucks) were so taken with these birds, which breed in the local forest, they renamed their pub as 'The Firecrest' (previously it had been 'The Office').  
Identification Tips:
  Images from IBC or search flickr
  Videos from IBC
  Sound from xeno-canto
Crossley ID photos BTO ID Workshop

Population and Distribution

Population Trend: No population trend available
Distribution: Atlas Mapstore   
British Population Size:
    Summer: 550 Territories in
    First Record: Cornwall, 1845
    First Breeding Record: Hampshire 1962
    Latest Survey: Musgrove, A. et al. (2013) British Birds 106:64-100
    Conservation Status: AMBER because Small Breeding Population,
   Previous Assessments: 2002-2007 AMBER     1996-2001 AMBER  
   Races of Concern: ignicapilla AMBER (Rare or Localised)
Habitat Occupancy (in the Breeding Season):
    No habitat data from BBS
European Population Size:
    Summer: 3.3 to 6.7 million pairs   (Trend in Numbers)
Population Assesment from Birds in Europe
Distribution in Europe mapped by the EBCC Atlas
Listed on the Appendices/Schedules of: WCA(I,IV), Bern(III), Bonn(II)
Survey Results: Results from BirdTrack

Breeding and Survival

Egg Size: 14 x 10 mm Egg Weight: 0.7 g (of which 5 % is shell)
Number of Nest Records: 0
Clutch Size: 7 - 10 eggs
Incubation: 15- 17 days   by the: Female
Fledging: 19 - 20days as: Altricial, downy
First Clutches Laid: Unavailable
Number of Broods: 2
Number Ringed: Annual Totals
Adult Survival: No data
Juvenile Survival: No data
Age at First Breeding: 1 year Typical Lifespan: No data
Maximum Recorded Age: 3 years 2 months 13 days (set in 2009)
Read a summary of Ringing Recoveries


Ring Size: AA
Wing Length Adult: 53.1 ± 1.8 Range 50 - 56 mm, N =515
Juvenile: 53.2 ± 1.8 50 - 56 mm, N =1286
Male: 54.3 ± 1.4 52 - 57 mm, N =268
Female: 51.7 ± 1.2 50 - 54 mm, N =243
Weight Adult: 5.39 ± 0.49 Range 4.70 - 6.40 g , N =485
Juvenile: 5.29 ± 0.47 4.60 - 6.10 g , N =1159
Male: 5.53 ± 0.48 4.80 - 6.50 g , N =253
Female: 5.24 ± 0.46 4.60 - 6.00 g , N =228
British Trust for Ornithology (2005) Ringing Scheme data

Other Names

Gaelic: Welsh: Dryw Penfflamgoch
Danish: Rødtoppet fuglekonge Dutch: Vuurgoudhaantje
Finnish: Tulipäähippiäinen French: Riotelet triple-bandeau
German: Sommergoldhähnchen Hungarian: Tüzesfeju királyka
Icelandic: Gullkollur Irish: Lasairchíor
Italian: Fiorrancino Norwegian: Rødtoppfuglekonge
Polish: Zniczek Portuguese: Estrelinha-de-cabeça-listada
Spanish: Reyezuelo listado Swedish: Brandkronad kungsfågel

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