Nesting: the nest is normally amongst the thin outer branches in conifers, or in ivy or other climbing plants.
Scarce-breeding resident and uncommon passage migrant
Feeding: Firecrests forage for small invertebrates, eg springtails, spiders and aphids amongst the mid-strata and canopy, and occasionally on the ground.
Frequently occupied sites are in commercial woodlands at, or near, their economic maturity. They are therefore susceptible to felling or significant restructuring.
The Population Status of Birds in Wales: Amber-listed27, 28
EU Birds Directive – Annex 1
Protected under Schedule 129 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act
Population trends and distribution
In Wales, firecrest is at the north-western edge of its European distribution, establishing itself as a breeding species during the 1970s. Present population size and trend is unknown.
Habitat: tall, well-vegetated coniferous woodland, often Norway spruce, with some deciduous trees along rides. They also breed in semi-natural deciduous woodland with a well-developed shrub layer of holly or yew.
Target management to sites known to have been occupied in recent years.
Plan for limited or gradual change to any mature tree component.
Integrate long-term planning for this species into Forest Design Plans to ensure long-term viability of key habitats.
Increase the extent or improve the quality of nest sites
Retain tall mature conifers (Norway
spruce in particular) alongside rides.
Increase the extent or improve the quality of foraging habitat
Increase the number of deciduous trees in ride-side locations by retention or planting.
Allow crowns to develop by light thinning.
Encourage a dense shrub layer of holly and/or yew by managing grazing and browsing or planting.
27 A scarce-breeding species in Wales with an average of <30 pairs. 28 Preliminary assessment for 2008 revision of The Population Status of Birds in Wales: Amber-listed. 29 A specially protected species.
No map has been produced for firecrest due to the confidential nature of the data.