The Siskin (Spinus spinus) has greenish coloured plumage, streaked dark brown to black, the male having brighter and darker colouration with a black forehead and chin patch also there are yellow patches on the wings and tail. Females and juveniles are duller with more streaking.
The Siskin is a relatively common bird and can be found in conifer woods, mixed woodlands and gardens. Its numbers vary depending on seed production and as the seed from spruce trees dries up they turn to alder and birch seeds.
According to the BTO, coniferous forests were not surveyed in detail before the 1990s and so the long term trend in the Siskin population is not well known, but it appears that their numbers may have decreased in recent years.
It breeds mainly in the UK.
During winter, Siskins arrive in the UK from mainland Europe and reach maximum numbers early in the New Year.
By spring a number of Siskins will move away from gardens and head for breeding areas. They will, however, return to gardens in numbers in search of supplementary food – especially during the breeding season – which is a pleasant sight as Siskins feed among the trees whilst making a sweet twittering sound.
Siskins are a delight to see and feed in the garden.