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Related to Siskins: Redpolls, Towhees


1. a yellow-and-black Eurasian finch, Carduelis spinus
2. pine siskin a North American finch, Spinus pinus, having a streaked yellowish-brown plumage



(Spinus spinus), a bird of the family Fringillidae of the order Passeriformes. The body length is about 12 cm, and the weight, 12 to 14 g. The plumage is yellowish green with dark streaks. Siskins are distributed in Eurasia; in the USSR they are found in the zone of coniferous forests, in the forests of the Crimea and the Caucasus, and the pine forests of Kazakhstan. In the winter they wander in flocks, particularly along river valleys with thickets of hardwood trees. Siskins usually nest in spruces or pines. The clutch contains four or five eggs, which are incubated by the female for 12 days. Sometimes siskins nest twice in one summer. The diet consists of seeds of coniferous and hardwood trees, particularly alders, and aphids and other tiny insects. Siskins are often kept in cages.

References in periodicals archive ?
The arrival of siskins in gardens is likely to be because they have nearly exhausted natural supplies of seeds, particularly those of alder but also including birch, spruce and the seeds of weeds such as docks and burdock.
The brightest flashes of colour are provided by the male siskins - the females lack the black crown and bib, their plumage is more streaked and thus they are not quite as bright.
But it is the siskins that really catch the eye, their yellow barred wings flashing in the winter - or could it be spring sunshine?
The siskin is named as a rare bird, which was, late in the 19th century, a popular cage bird.
These Siskins will be leaving soon, most to the forests of Snowdonia and the Denbigh Moors, but some as far as the Belgian Ardennes, where they will start building nests in early April.
The male siskin has bright yellow plumage, streaked with black, and a black cap and bib.
The siskin, one of the smallest members of the finch family, normally feeds on pine cone seeds in the Scandinavian forests.
During the winter Siskins also come into gardens where they find peanuts an irresistible treat.
Siskins have a fast, bouncy flight and their yellow wing bars and forked tails make them quite distinctive.
Redpolls can often be found feeding with Siskins in the winter.
THE bird appears to be a male siskin which is becoming more common in southern Britain with increasing conifer planting.
THE bird which Barbara Scott photographed is a male siskin.