Thursday, 25 November 2010

Eurasian Siskin (Spinus spinus)

OTHER NAMES: Siskin, Black-headed Goldfinch, Barleybird, Aberdevine
Latin Etymology: Spinus (bird mentioned by Aristophanes) spinus (bird mentioned by Aristophanes)
Adult Eurasian Siskin (Spinus spinus) at Geddington, Northants - March 2013

Featured Subspecies: N/A
Weight: 12-18g  /  Length: 11-12.5cm  /  Wingspan: 20-23cm
UK GREEN LIST / IUCN Red List: Least Concern

For me the siskin proved to be a bit of a bogey bird for a while since I started this blog. In theory there are half as many siskins as the very common (but suffering major declines) greenfinch, plus winter migrants. In practice, despite having them on my bird table on a daily basis the winter before I started this site, I had not seen hide nor hair of one until for a year and a half after I started this blog.  Subsequently, connecting with them has become a bit easier as I've got more use to the sorts of places to look for them. As they do feed in gardens fairly readily, this is ultimately probably the place to get the best views of them, as with many finches they seem to favour niger seed for me.  In Winter they tend to travel in flocks and are most often seen in the treetops feeding on seeds - sometime accompanied by goldfinch or redpoll, most visibly in February and early March.

Related Species:
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Fringillidae
Genus: Spinus
Subspecies: none - monotypic

 - Sighting Locations -
UNITED KINGDOM - Locally abundant breeding resident (369,000 pairs) and widely distributed Winter migrant.
 - Seen in Geddington most Winters, although in very variable numbers.

Further Notes: 
BirdForum Opus, IUCN Red ListRSPB, Wikipedia, Xeno-canto

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