The Madeira Firecrest
or Madeira Kinglet
, Regulus madeirensis
, is a very small passerine
bird that is endemic
to the island of Madeira
. It is a member of the kinglet
family. Before it was recognised as a separate species in 2003, it was classified as a subspecies of the Common Firecrest
. It differs in appearance and vocalisations from its relative, and genetic analysis has confirmed it as a different species. The Madeiran bird has green upperparts, whitish underparts and two white wingbars, and a distinctive head pattern with a black eye stripe, short white supercilium
, and a crest that is mainly orange in the male and yellow in the female.
The female Madeira Firecrest builds a spherical nest from cobwebs
and small twigs, and she incubates the eggs and broods the chicks on her own. Both parents feed the young. This species forages
for insects and other small invertebrates in tree heath
and other woodland. It is common within its restricted range, and is not considered to be threatened.
The Madeira Firecrest is a small plump bird, 9–10 cm (3.5–3.9 cm) length and weighing about 5 g (0.18 oz). It has bright olive-green upperparts with a bronze-coloured patch on each shoulder, and whitish underparts washed with brownish grey on the breast and flanks. It has two white wingbars, a tiny black bill and brownish-black legs. The head pattern is striking, with a black eye stripe, white supercilium
and a crest... Read More