Irish Name: Cíorbhuí
Scientific name: Regulus regulus
Bird Family: Kinglets
Conservation status


A common resident throughout Ireland, mainly in coniferous forests.


Our smallest breeding bird species, measuring just 9cm in length. Very active, moving quickly between branches and can be difficult to get a good view of. Adult male Goldcrests have a bright yellow crown stripe with at least some orange tint. Bordered by thick black stripe on either side, with the rest of the head greyish green. The back, rump and tail are dark olive-green and there is a small white wing-bar. The underparts are pale grey-green. Adult female Goldcrests are identical to males, except that the crown never shows any orange (pure yellow). Juveniles lack the ornate head colouring of the adults, having a plain grey head instead.


A very high pitched “zi-zi-zee”, one of the few calls that can be heard in woodlands during the winter months. The song consists of a series of high-pitched notes with a crescendo at the end.


Feeds almost exclusively on insects and other invertebrates


Goldcrests breed in a wide variety of habitats, including broadleaf forests, hedgerows and suburban gardens. It is also one of the few species that will breed in dense coniferous woodlands.


Resident. In very cold weather may visit garden bird tables, but prefers searching for insects in vegetation.

Monitored by

Countryside Bird Survey.

Similar Species


Irish Name:
Scientific name:
Regulus ignicapillus
Bird Family: