|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.