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Siskin

Siskin, Identification, Habitat and Food

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20th August 2013

Siskin, Identification, Habitat and Food

Identification

Length: 12cm.

The male has a black crown (tipped grey in autumn), and a black chin. Both these features distinguish the Siskin from all other yellow-green finches. The rump, eye stripe, neck and breast are yellowish. They have a yellow wing-bar and a grey-white belly. The outer tail feathers are black and yellow. The female is grey with no black on the head, and whitish streaked under parts. They are distinguished from the Serin at all ages by the yellow patches at the base of the tail.

Call

The Siskin emits a ‘tsuu’. Their song is a sweet, musical twittering.

Reproduction

Breeding starts from April onwards. They nest high up in trees, usually near the end of a branch. The nest is a small compact cup of twigs, grass and moss, and is lined with hair, wool, feathers and plant down.

Three to five, light blue with brownish, lilac or pinkish spotting, eggs are laid. The female incubates for eleven to fourteen days. Both tend the young which leave the nest after thirteen to fifteen days.

Habitat

They prefer coniferous or mixed woods.

Natural Food

They eat mainly seeds but also come into gardens to feed on peanuts in February and March.

Where to Feed

Feeders – Ideally above 1m in height

Table Feeder – Open topped or covered

Ground – Not suitable