|Species: Pine Siskin
The most common of
the irruptive "winter finches” but nomadic. Numbers vary from year
to year. Almost always in flocks sometimes with Goldfinches. Small
finch brown and heavily streaked, paler underneath. Two buff
wingbars, yellow in wing at base of flight feathers.
4 ½ - 5 ¼ (11 – 13
cm) Greyish-brown above, buffy fellow with dusky streaking overall,
yellow on wing and tail. Sharp, slender beak with deeply notched
tail. Wings with two white wing bars and yellow notch at base of
primaries, base of outer tail yellow.
Sexes look similar but females have less yellow.
similar to male but less yellow.
juvenile similar to adult but more buffy.
Heavy streaking on body distinguishes it from goldfinches.
Goldfinches are never streaked and are much yellower: American
goldfinch most alike in size and actions.
Yellow in wings, heavily streaked breast, and lack of red spot on
head distinguishes it from Common Redpoll. Redpoll is paler, pinkish
, streaks lighter and none on breast.
Juvenile Yellow-rumped Warbler is similar in overall streaky
appearance, but lacks yellow in wings and has a smaller, thinner
Female Purple, Cassin’s, House finches are larger, lack yellow and
have heavier bills.
Active, gregarious, almost always in flocks sometimes with
goldfinches. They are frequent feeders found in open forest where it
feeds on buds and seeds of birches, alders, pines and other trees
but will also feed on small insects.
Voice In flight, a scratchy shick-shick and a thin tseee, also a
rising buzzy schhrreeee.
Conifer forests and second growth alders, aspens and broadleaf trees
usually on the forest edges. Breeds in Conifer forest but erratic
breeder often found in loose colonies. Ranges from southern Alaska
and Canada through western United States and across the Mexico
and Goldfinches are closely related group of seed specialist. All
have short, conical beaks, short, slightly forked tails, bright wing
markings and “nervous” behaviour. They breed in flocks, which after
breeding may contain hundreds of birds. They are all acrobats, often
hanging upside down, like titmice and chickadees, plucking seeds
from hanging seed pods and catkins.
makes assessing population trends difficult. May be declining in
Pine Siskin capture rates (2010-2012; standardized as birds
captured per 100 net hours) peak in fall and winter,
especially in January, when foraging flocks are on the move
and using the open areas of Colony Farm. Generally
preferring to breed in coniferous or mixed forests, capture
rates during the rest of the year drops off as individuals
concentrate on nesting, preferring to forage on coniferous
trees in their breeding territories.