Carduelis pinus


Siskins are seed specialists, often hanging upside down to pluck seeds from hanging seedpods and cones. Their primarily feed on the seeds of hemlocks, alders, birches, and cedars. Pine Siskins are irregular migrators, often invading the central latitudes of North America in large numbers during winter. The cause is believed to be fluctuations or a lack of food at their typical wintering grounds.


Upperparts brown with heavy streaking. Underparts pale with streaking. Yellow wing and tail patches that are not always visible. Short, forked tail. Short, thin, pointed, conical bill. Sexes similar. 4.25 to 5 inches in length.


Coniferous and mixed woodlands.


3-4 pale green eggs lightly speckled with dark brown and black spots. The eggs have a 13 day incubation period. Fledging occurs in 14-15 days. The nest is a very shallow cup made from bark, twigs, and moss, and lined with plant fiber and feathers. The nest is usually built in a conifer.

Observed Locations:

  • Cuyamaca State Park
  • Bird store feeders, Julian

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Copyright © Scott Streit, 2000.