Not a Canary!
Summary from British Birds
12th October 1996
Package holiday companies can expect a boost to their bookings for Tenerife on the Canary Islands following a paper in the most recent British Birds. In this Hans Lohrl, Ellen Thaller and David Christie report on observations on the Tenerife Kinglet. This bird used to be thought of as an island race of the Firecrest Regulus ignicapillus or of the Goldcrest R. regulus.
Rather more have opted for the former although the verdict of the Birds of the Western Palearctic plumped for the latter. Now it has been accorded specific status as the Tenerife Kinglet Regulus teneriffae. The ravening hordes of twitchers are probably surfing the internet at this very moment sorting out the best deals for day visits to the Canaries just to see this bird!
There are two widespread 'crests in the Old World (Goldcrest and Firecrest) and two in the New - Ruby-crowned Kinglet R. calendula and Golden- crowned Kinglet R. satrapa. The sixth species is the Flamecrest R. goodfellowi found high in the mountains of Taiwan.
The paper contains observations in the field and on a captive female. The authors like the bird and agree that it looks more like a Goldcrest than a Firecrest. They are unable to throw more light on its taxonomy but report that the captive female mated with and produce nestlings by a male Goldcrest. This breeding in captivity is no reason to dismiss it as a good species. Tenerife is not the only island in the group which has populations of this species (or sub-species) and a quick package to La Palma, La Gomera and Hierro might be just as good!