Finland’s smallest bird

Goldcrest © Jussi Helimäki

The goldcrest (Regulus regulus) is Finland’s smallest bird, weighing in at approximately six grams. It’s not the world’s smallest bird, however; that title goes to the bee hummingbird, which weighs only two grams.

The goldcrest is a spruce forest species that needs a habitat consisting of actual forest, not just a few spruce trees. It lives high up in the treetops. Its nest is almost impossible to distinguish from the downward-pointing needles at the tip of a spruce branch. During the nesting season, the goldcrest gives away its location with its song: ‘cedarcedar-cedar-cedar-cedar’.

In the winter, they come down from the trees with flocks of tits to forage for food, during which time they also make shrill calls. Approximately half of goldcrests migrate, and in the spring they can be seen in coastal deciduous forests. The goldcrests that choose to overwinter in Finland can end up dying in particularly harsh winters.


Photo Eero Haapanen.