• Madeiran Firecrest 


Scientific name
Regulus madeirensis (Harcourt, 1851)

Taxonomic Status
Endemic Species of Archipelago of Madeira

Red Data Book Status
Least Concern

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  • Identification

The Madeira Firecrest is a small bird weighing about 5 g. The back and rump are bright olive-green, and the breast whitish-grey. The legs are brownish-black and the beak is black. They a have a white well marked white supercilium and an orange crest. 

  • Voice

Can be divided in three parts: a high-pitched zuu zu-zi-zi, followed by a shrill wheez, and a whistled peep.

  • Ecology

The nest is three-layered cup-shaped from cobwebs with moss and little twigs that has an opening at the top. The female lays around 7 eggs that she incubates for 15 days and fledging is around 20 days after hatching. The diet is mainly insectivore, feeding on small arthropods like springtails, aphids and spiders.

  • Distribution

Endemic species from Madeira Island spread all around the island. In Madeira occurs in the indigenous forest, exotic forest, agricultural, rural and humanized areas. However the habitats with more densities are areas covered with heathers. In Porto Santo Island the breeding was confirmed in 2001on the highest areas of the island covered with pinewood.


In 2005 this bird was recognized as endemic species to Madeira


  • Madeiran Firecrest Sightings


2012 - Madeira Island © Birds & Company


March 2012 - Madeira Island © Birds & Company

  • Literature

[1] Barone, R. & Delgado, G. (2001) Adiciones a la avifauna nidificante a la isla de Porto Santo (Archipiélago da Madeira). Vieraea 29: 103 - 109  

[2] del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Christie, D. 2007. Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 12: Picathartes to Tits and Chickadees. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain

[3] Päckert, M., Martens, J., Nazarenko, A. A., Kosuch, J. & Veith, M. (2003). Phylogenetic signal in song of crests and kinglets (Aves: Regulus). Evolution 57: 616 – 629.

[4] Päckert, M., Dietzen, C., Martens, J., Wink, M. & Kvist, L. (2006). Radiation of Atlantic goldcrests Regulus regulus spp.: evidence of a new taxon from the Canary Islands. Journal of Avian Biology 37: 364 – 380.    

[5] Mullarney, Killian; Svensson, Lars; Zetterstrom, Dan; Grant, Peter (1999). Collins Bird Guide. London: Collins.



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