For the month of April, the Booth encourages you to look out for the Goldcrest, Regulus regulus, in your garden, in the park (if you’re exercising at an appropriate distance from others), or even the view from the window of your flat.
UK conservation status: Green
The goldcrest, along with the firecrest (Regulus ignicapilla), is our smallest bird and at only 8.5cm it is half a centimetre smaller than the wren. Aristotle describes it as ‘…just a little bigger than a locust, its crest is the colour of sun shining through mist…’.
The Goldcrest start to breed in late April in the UK. This is a good time of year to see this tiny bird, before it can hide behind the green leaves of later spring and summer. The crest is yellow in the female and orange with yellow edging in the male. They are often seen with long-tailed tits, moving from tree to tree as they feed on small insects. They have a plump and rounded body, which Mr Booth’s taxidermists seemed to have missed in their specimens.
Why not come and have a look at the Booth Museum specimens once we reopen and compare them with any you’ve managed to photograph (or our sample images).
Reference: Leroi, A. M. (2014) The Lagoon: How Aristotle Invented Science, London, Bloomsbury.
All photos (c) Lee Ismail