This is the smallest bird (with Firecrest) found in Central and Northern Europe. It is closely related to the kinglets of North America. The bird lacks an eye stripe but has a bright yellow crown stripe with (male only) red insert.
These are birds of the conifer forest and they have fine bills to forage among the needles. Many of them migrate and huge numbers sometimes appear along the East Coast of Britain. The birds breed over much of Europe (not South) and into the former USSR, in the Himalayas and Japan.
These birds are very vulnerable to cold winter weather and the females breed at break-neck speed, They even start nesting and laying the next clutch before the earlier one has fledged! There may be 1,000,000 pairs in Britain and Ireland at best but this may decrease by 80% after a very cold winter.
A tiny bird of conifer forests.
Length 90 mm Closed wing 54 mm Weight 6 gms
A Bird On! Sketch by Chris Mead
Copyright © 1996 by Jacobi Jayne & Company and Chris Mead