Home PageBirds of Devon and Cornwall Siskin  
Latin name - Carduelis spinus

A small, agile finch with a forked tail the Siskin can be confused with the Greenfinch but it is smaller and has dark streaks on its yellow-green body. They have yellow rumps, yellow wing bars and yellow sides to their tails. The male has a black cap and bib and bright yellow cheeks. The female does not have a black crown or bib and is more heavily streaked. In both sexes the legs and bill are dark brown. Juveniles have browner upperparts and are even more heavily streaked than the female. It is most numerous in Scotland and Wales where there is a large breeding population. In winter they spread far more widely throughout the UK and their numbers are swelled by migrants from continental Europe. It is found in forested areas, both coniferous and mixed woodland where it feeds on seeds of all kinds, but having a smaller bill than that of other finches it especially feeds on the cone seeds of spruce, pine, alders and birch. They will often visit garden feeders where they are especially fond of peanuts as well as suet balls and seed. Nests are built by the female usually high in a conifer tree and she alone incubates the eggs. However both parents feed the young which fledge in 13 to 15 days.

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