Firecrest, Vuurgoudhaan, Sommergoldhänchen, Estrelinha-de-cabeça-listada, Reyezuelo Listado

Spotted at Monte Horizonte in the Alentejo region of Portugal.                                              Common Firecrest sound    

The Common Firecrest (Regulus ignicapilla) also known as the Firecrest, is a very small passerine bird in the kinglet family. It breeds in most of temperate Europe and northwestern Africa, and is partially migratory, with birds from central Europe wintering to the south and west of their breeding range.

Firecrest Birding Portugal

More photos at the bottom of this page:

Firecrests in the Balearic Islands and north Africa are widely recognised as a separate subspecies, but the population on Madeira, previously also treated as a subspecies, is now treated as a distinct species, the Madeira Firecrest, Regulus madeirensis. A fossil ancestor of the Firecrest has been identified from a single wing bone.

This kinglet is greenish above and has whitish underparts. It has two white wingbars, a black eye stripe and a white supercilium. The head crest, orange in the male and yellow in the female, is displayed during breeding, and gives rise to the English and scientific names for the species. This bird superficially resembles the Goldcrest, which largely shares its European range, but the Firecrest’s bronze shoulders and strong face pattern are distinctive. The song is a repetition of high thin notes, slightly lower-pitched than those of its relative.

The Common Firecrest breeds in broadleaved or coniferous woodland and gardens, building its compact, three-layered nest on a tree branch. Seven to twelve eggs are incubated by the female alone. Both parents feed the chicks, which fledge 22–24 days after hatching. This kinglet is constantly on the move and frequently hovers as it searches for insects to eat, and in winter it is often found with flocks of tits. Despite some possible local declines, the species is not the subject of significant conservation concerns owing to its large European population and an expansion of its range over the last century. It may be hunted and killed by birds of prey, and can carry parasites. It is possible that this species was the original “king of the birds” in European folklore.

Firecrest Birding Portugal
Firecrest Birding Portugal
Firecrest Birding Portugal
Firecrest Birding Portugal

Other synonyms:

Asturian: Reyín
Breton: An dreolan kabell-flamm
Catalan: Bruel, Reietó cellablanc
Catalan (Balears): Reietó cellablanc
Czech: Králícek ohnivý, králíèek ohnivý
Welsh: Dryw penfflamgoch
Danish: Rødtoppet fuglekonge
German: Kanarengoldhähnc, Sommergoldhaehnchen, Sommergoldhähnchen, Sommer-Goldhähnchen
English: Common Firecrest, Eurasian Firecrest, Firecrest, Firecrest (European)
Esperanto: fajroverta regolo
Spanish: Reyezuela listado, Reyezuelo Listado, Reyezuelo sencillo
Estonian: Lääne-pöialpoiss
Basque: Erregetxo bekainzuria
Finnish: Tulipäähippiäinen
Faroese: Reyðknokkutan títlingskongur, reyðknokkutur títlingskongur
French: Riotelet triple-bandeau, Roitelet à triple bandeau, Roitelet triple-bandeau
Irish: Lasairchíor
Gaelic: Crionag
Galician: Estreliña riscada
Croatian: Vatroglavi Kraljic
Hungarian: Tüzesfeju királyka, Tüzesfejû királyka
Icelandic: Gullkollur
Italian: Fiorrancino
Japanese: mamijirokikuitadaki
Cornish: Tangryben
Latin: Regulus ignicapilla, Regulus ignicapilla ignicapilla/balearica, Regulus ignicapillus, Regulus ignicapillus ignapillus
Lithuanian: Baltabruvis nykštukas
Dutch: Vuur goudhaantje, Vuurgoudhaan, Vuurgoudhaantje
Norwegian: Rødtoppfuglekonge
Polish: zniczek
Portuguese: estrelinha real, Estrelinha-de-cabeça-listada, Estrelinha-real
Romansh: Retgottel da stad
Russian: Krasnogolovy Korolyok
Slovak: Králik ohnivohlavý
Slovenian: rdeceglavi kraljicek
Albanian: Mbretëthi vetullbardhë
Serbian: vatroglavi kraljic
Swedish: Brandkronad kungsfågel



Birdwatching in the Alentejo for birders, birds in Portugal. Guided Birdwatching Tours & Trips

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Peter Pyke
Peter Pyke
5 years ago

Hi Bert, I would love to use one of your firecrest images for a coloured pencil drawing. Have you any objections. Many thanks. Peter.

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