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.



Latin name

Carduelis spinus


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.


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




Sander Bot, Xeno-canto

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