Pine Siskin

Scientific Name: Carduelis pinus

Diet: The Pine Siskin eats mainly seeds. It eats the  red alder, birch, willow, thistle, spruce, and hemlock seeds. Pine siskins also eat tree buds, spiders, caterpillars, and grasshoppers in the summer. Pine Siskin chicks eat aphids.

Habitat: Pine Siskins can be found in coniferous and mixed forests. They also live at forest edges, suburban areas, parks, and pastures.

Sound: The Pine Siskin’s call is a loud, grating bzzzzzeee! that ascends at the end, and the song is harsh rasping chattering.

Nesting: Pine Siskin nests are made of twigs, leaves, rootlets, grasses, weeds, strips of bark, and lichen, and are lined with moss, fur, grass, and feathers. The nest is placed on the end of a horizontal branch, usually in a coniferous tree. Pine Siskins lay 3 to 4 eggs, and incubate them for about 13 days. When the chicks hatch they are helpless, with a little down.

Description/ field marks: Pine Siskins are brown and stripy. They are yellowish white on the underside, but are heavily streaked with dark brown. On the tail, wings, and back Pine Siskins are streaked all over with brown, black, and white, and are tinted with yellow. They have medium brown heads, and extremely faint superciliums.  Male and female Pine Siskins are the same in appearance except that the wing bars on the upper wing are white on females, and yellow on males. Pine Siskins are about 4 to 5 1/2 inches long, and have wingspans of about 7 to 9 inches.

How to attract: To attract Pine Siskins put out a seed feeder. They will come to sunflower seed, and, like American Goldfinches, Pine Siskins like nyjer.

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