For­est sprite

BBC Wildlife Magazine - - Wild October -

Two ‘crests’ – fire and gold – vie for the ti­tle of smallest Bri­tish bird. Both species weigh 5–7g and mea­sure about 9cm. In com­par­i­son, a blue tit weighs twice as much. Firecrests are hy­per­ac­tive sprites, mov­ing through fo­liage non-stop and fre­quently hov­er­ing in mid-air to pick off tiny in­sects and spi­ders. They seem par­tic­u­larly fond of ivy-cov­ered tree trunks. But they’re far scarcer than gold­crests, with just 550 breed­ing pairs in the coun­try. Oc­to­ber, when num­bers are swelled by au­tumn migrants, is

your best chance of a sight­ing.

TOP TIP

Watch a video on how to iden­tify firecrests: bto.org/about-birds/bird-id

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