Carduelis spinus - Siskin

Phylum: Chordata - Class: Aves - Order: Passeriformes - Family: Fringillidae

Carduelis spinus, Siskin

This member of the finch family might possibly be mistaken for a Greenfinch, except for the fact that the Siskin is smaller and has such a distinctive pair of yellow bars on each wing. The Siskin pictured here is a male, with the almost black crown and small patch under the chin; the female is not so bright and is noticeably brown-striped on the head and under the chin.

Many Siskins are winter visitors; however, there is also a resident population, particularly in the north of Britain. They generally nest in fir trees, building from twigs, grass, moss, hair, feathers and wool. The four or five eggs in a clutch, laid in April, May or June, are bluish-white with lilac and brown spots.

Siskins eat seeds and small insects, and they will readily come to bird tables in quiet gardens.


This page includes pictures kindly contributed by the Countryside Council for Wales.

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