132. GOLDEN-CRESTED WREN
Regulus cristatus, Koch. Baier. Zool. p. 199 (1816) ; Gould, B. of Gt. Brit. ii. pl. 69 ; Newton, i. p. 449 ; Dresser, ii. p. 453, pls. 71, 72, fig. 2 ; Gadow, Cat. B. Br. Mus. viii. p. 80 ; Oates, F. Brit. Ind. Birds, i. p. 344 ; Saunders, p. 57 ; Lilford. iii. p. 74, pl. 37 ; R. flavicapillus, Naumann, iii. p. 968, Taf. 93. figs. 1, 2 ; R. auricapillus, Meyer, Taschenb. Deutsch. Vogelk. iii. p. 108 (1822) ; Hewitson, i. p. 146, pl. xxxviii. figs. 1, 2.
Roitelet ordinaire, French ; Reyezuelo, Span. ; Regolo, Ital. ; Goldhahnchen, German ; Goudhantje, Dutch ; Gultoppet-Fuglekonge, Dan. ; Fuglekonge, Norweg. ; Kungsfagel, Swed. ; Hippiainen, Finn. ; Kovolek-jeltovolosui, Russ.
Male ad. (Germany). Forehead greyish brown ; frontal line black merging into a broad black streak on each side of the head enclosing a yellow coronal patch deepening into orange in the centre, upper parts olive-green ; wing and tail blackish brown margined with yellowish green ; secondaries and wing-coverts tipped with white, and a black patch at base of secondaries ; under parts greyish white, tinged with yellow ; bill blackish brown ; legs brown 5 iris hazel. Culmen 0.45, wing 2.1 tail 1.65, tarsus 0.7 inch. The female is duller in colour, and the crown is lemon- yellow, and the young resemble the female but lack the yellow on the crown which is blackish brown and olivaceous.
Hab. From Lapland and Northern Siberia to North Africa and the Himalayas, and from the Azores and western Europe to Eastern Siberia China and Japan. Azorean examples are said to have the bill larger than European birds and have been separated by Mr. Seebohm (Brit. B., 1, p. 454) under the name of It. cristatus var. azoricus. In central Asia and the Himalayas they have the nape tinged with greyish brown (var. himalayensis Blyth) and in Japan, where it is said to be resident, the nape is more decidedly greyish brown in tinge (var. japonicus Bp.) but none of these forms are sufficiently distinct to be entitled to even sub-specific rank.
In general habits it is not shy and in winter may be found consorting with Titmice and Creepers. It frequents well wooded districts and affects conifer growth. It is active and restless like the Titmice, and feeds chiefly on insects which it obtains on trees and bushes ; flies, and occasionally, it is said, seeds form a portion of its diet. Its note is a shrill feeble cry not unlike that of a shrewmouse, and in the spring the male has a low but not unmelodious song. Its nest is suspended under the small outside branch of a fir or yew tree and is constructed of moss, well lined with feathers, and the eggs 5 to 0 or 10 in number are usually deposited in May, and are ochreous white, faintly reddish in tinge when unblown, very minutely dotted with pale ochreous brown at the larger end and measure about 0.51. by 0.41.
132. Regulus cristatus
132. GOLDEN-CRESTED WREN