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Eurasian Siskin

From Opus

Photo © by Scottishdude Whatton Nottinghamshire, March 2004
Photo © by Scottishdude
Whatton Nottinghamshire, March 2004
Spinus spinus

Carduelis spinus


[edit] Identification

FemalePhoto © by dfdIreland, March 2009
Photo © by dfd
Ireland, March 2009

11–12 cm (4¼-4¾ in)
Male Mainly yellowish-green, with darkish streaks. Black chin and crown. Yellow rump.
Female and Juvenile lack the black head, are less yellow and more streaked.

[edit] Distribution

Breeds in the northern Palearctic from the UK to Siberia.
Winters in the Mediterranean region and China.
British Isles: resident, breeding in most of the Scottish highlands and in Ireland. Also found locally in England and Wales.

[edit] Taxonomy

This is a monotypic species[1].

Formerly placed in genus Carduelis.

[edit] Habitat

Juvenile femalePhoto © by JSDCentral Scotland, June 2018
Juvenile female
Photo © by JSD
Central Scotland, June 2018

Breeds mostly in coniferous woods, but may also be found in gardens with conifer trees. In winter may be found feeding in birches and alders.

[edit] Behaviour

Gregarious, particularly in the winter and often seen in mixed flocks of Goldfinches and Redpolls.

[edit] Flight

Bounding flight. Also a circular display flight, which is rather bat-like. Hops on the ground.

[edit] Diet

They mostly feed on the seeds of conifers, alders and birch and will also eat insects.

[edit] Breeding

Photo © by markrannerTomintoul, Moray, Scotland, March 2017
Photo © by markranner
Tomintoul, Moray, Scotland, March 2017

The 4-5 light greenish-blue eggs have reddish-brown spots and streaks. They are laid in April or May and there may be a second clutch. The nest is formed from dead twigs, roots, moss and heather.

[edit] Vocalisation

Listen in an external program

[edit] References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from
  2. Collins Pocket Guide to British Birds 1966
  3. The Observer's Book of Birds' Eggs
  4. RSPB

[edit] Recommended Citation

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