SCIENTIFIC NAME: Spinus Spinus
Males have a grayish-green back, yellow rump, the sides of the tail are yellow and the end is black. Wings are black with a distinctive yellow wing stripe.
The breast is yellowish becoming whiter and striped towards the cloaca. They have a black bib (or chin patch) and on its head it has two yellow auriculas and a black cap.
The amount of black on the bib is very variable between males and the size of the bib has been related to dominance within a flock.
Females are more olive-colored than males. The cap and the auriculas are greenish with a white bib and a rump that is a slightly striped whitish-yellow.
Juveniles resemble females, but it is still duller, with grayish-brown color, heavily streaked overall. It has yellowish indistinct patches at base of outer rectrices, and shows two pale wing bars.
BILL: horn-colored, thin and pointed.
SIZE: small and short-tailed, measuring about 4.3 - 4.9 inches in length, with a wingspan that ranges from 7.9 - 9.1 inches.
WEIGHT: weights between 10 - 18 grams.
COLOR: grayish-green, green, yellow, black, grayish-brown, and white.
Seeds, catkins, insects and other small invertebrates.
BREEDS: coniferous or mixed forests, but it prefers spruce trees.
WINTER: birches and alders located along streams, also gardens and bird-feeders.
Breeds throughout temperate northern Europe and into Russia. A separate population occurs in eastern Asia.
The northernmost populations migrate southwards in winter, and Asian populations winter in China.
CALL: Utters thin, plaintive “DLU-ee” as usual call, often in flight. They give low, dry twittering “tetetet” when they are feeding in groups.
When it alights among other siskins, it utters harsh, raspy “chrrr-chrrr”.
SONG: Fairly melodious, a sweet undulating series of twittering phrases, but ending in a raspy “kreee”.
This song is given during the flight displays or from treetops.
NEST: The female builds a small and bowl-shaped nest in pine or fur, at the end of horizontal branch. It is made with fine twigs, moss, lichens, wool, down and fur. They may nest in small groups, close to each other and high in a tree.
EGGS: 3 - 5 white, pale blue or gray eggs, with small spots or streaks.
INCUBATION: 11 - 12 days, female fed by the male.
They are quite active birds and use a variety of foraging techniques depending upon food source and location.
They are often seen hanging upside down as they hold onto a pine or spruce cone, extracting and consuming seeds.
They also feed on the ground, or clamber through shrubs or tree canopies in search of food.
They are very social birds outside of the breeding season, often found in flocks that not only include other Eurasian Siskins, but also sometimes other small passerines.