Pine Siskin (Carduelis pinus)

Pine Siskin

[order] PASSERIFORMES | [family] Fringillidae | [latin] Carduelis pinus | [UK] Pine Siskin | [FR] Tarin des pins | [DE] Fichtenzeisig | [ES] Pinonero rayado | [NL] Dennesijs


Genus Species subspecies Breeding Range Breeding Range 2 Non Breeding Range
Carduelis pinus NA, MA Canada to Guatemala
Carduelis pinus macroptera
Carduelis pinus perplexa
Carduelis pinus pinus

Physical charateristics

A small, dark, heavily streaked finch with a deeply notched tail, sharply pointed bill. A touch of yellow in the wings and at the base of the tail
(not always evident). In size and actions, resembles a Goldfinch. Most Siskins are detected by voice, flying over.

Listen to the sound of Pine Siskin

[audio: Siskin.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 18 cm wingspan max.: 22 cm
size min.: 11 cm size max.: 14 cm
incubation min.: 13 days incubation max.: 14 days
fledging min.: 14 days fledging max.: 15 days
broods: 2   eggs min.: 2  
      eggs max.: 6  


North America, Middle America : Canada to Guatemala


Conifers, mixed woods, alders, weedy areas.
Breeds mostly in coniferous and mixed woods, often around edges or clearings; sometimes in deciduous woods, isolated conifer groves. In migration and winter occurs in many kinds of semi-open areas, woodland edges, weedy fields.


eding range often changes from year to year. May nest in loose colonies or in isolated pairs. Courtship may begin in winter flocks; male displays by flying in circle above female, wings and tail spread wide, while singing. Male often feeds female during c
Nest: Site is well hidden in tree (usually in conifer), on horizontal branch well out from trunk. Typically 10-
40′ above ground, can be lower or higher. Nest (built by female) is a large but shallow open cup of twigs, grass, bark, rootlets, lined with moss, animal hair, feathers.
Eggs: 3-4, sometimes 2-5. Pale greenish blue with brown and black dots. Incubation is by female, about 13 days. Male feeds female during incubation.
Young: After eggs hatch, female broods young at first, while male brings food; later, both feed nestlings. Young leave nest about 14-15 days after hatching.

Feeding habits

Mostly seeds and other vegetable matter, some insects.
Feeds on seeds of alder, birch, spruce, and many other trees, also those of weeds and grasses; eats buds, flower parts, nectar, young shoots. Also feeds on insects, including caterpillars and aphids. May be attracted to salt.
Behavior: Forages actively in trees, shrubs, and weeds, sometimes hanging upside down to reach seeds. Usually forages in flocks (even during nesting season); often associated with goldfinches in winter.


This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Pine Siskin status Least Concern


Southern Canada to southern United States. Winters to central Mexico. Has bred casually south to dash line. Irruptive; erratic and local in winter.

Distribution map

Pine Siskin distribution range map

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