Family Kinglets and Firecrests (Regulidae)

Least Concern

Common Firecrest (Regulus ignicapilla)


French: Roitelet triple-bandeau German: Sommergoldhähnchen Spanish: Reyezuelo listado
Other common names: Eurasian Firecrest

Sylvia ignicapilla


, 1820,

France, Belgium, Germany, etc


Traditionally treated as conspecific with R. madeirensis, but see latter species. Race teneriffae of R. regulus sometimes included in present species. Geographical variation only slight; N African birds described as race laeneni, but considered indistinguishable from and thus synonymized with balearicus. Species name often listed as ignicapillus, but original name is a noun phrase and thus indeclinable. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • R. i. ignicapilla (Temminck, 1820) – W & C Europe and Asia Minor.
  • R. i. balearicus Jordans, 1923 – #RBalearic Is and N Africa.
  • R. i. tauricus Red’kin, 2001 – Crimea.
  • R. i. caucasicus Stepanyan, 1998 – W Caucasus.
  • Descriptive notes

    9 cm; 5–7 g. Tiny olive-green passerine with striking head pattern. Male nominate race has central crown feathers deep orange-red at front, merging into bright yellow... read more


    Territorial song a series of whistled notes ascending in frequency, delivered in notable crescendo... read more


    Prefers coniferous forest with spruce (Picea) and fir (Abies); unlike R.... read more

    Food and feeding

    Arthropods, including moths and caterpillars (Lepidoptera), aphids (Aphidoidea) and spiders (Araneae), among others; strong preference for... read more


    Season from beginning of Apr to Aug; two broods per season. Nest a typical regulid cup of three layers, made of moss, lichen, feathers and... read more


    Primarily migratory. Earliest migration activities 7–8 days after end of moult; leaves C... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Locally common. Estimates of European population variously 3,200,000–4,600,000 breeding pairs and between 6,000,000 and 13,000,000 individuals... read more

    Recommended citation

    Martens, J. & Päckert, M. (2019). Common Firecrest (Regulus ignicapilla). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 15 September 2019).