RSPB
Skip navigation
Join the RSPB

Help us give nature a home from £3 a month.

Conservation status: Green

The siskin is a small, lively finch, which is smaller than a greenfinch. It has a distinctly forked tail and a long narrow bill. The male has a streaky yellow-green body and a black crown and bib. There are yellow patches in the wings and tail. It is mainly a resident breeder from southern England to northern Scotland, but is most numerous in Scotland and Wales. Many breeding birds are residents; in winter birds arrive here also from Europe.

Illustrations

Overview

Latin name

Carduelis spinus

Family

Finches (Fringillidae)

Where to see them

In the breeding season, look for it in the tops of trees in suitable habitat in Scotland and Wales, where they are fairly common. In winter they are seen more widely across England as well.

When to see them

All year round.

What they eat

Seeds, especially of conifers, alders and birch, and some insects.

Population

EuropeUK breeding*UK wintering*UK passage*
-369,000 pairs--

Distribution

Key

Audio

Sander Bot, Xeno-canto

Similar birds