Carduelis pinus
(Pine Siskin)

Order: Passeriformes
Order Description: Passerines
Family: Fringillidae
Family Description: Finches, Crossbills, and Grosbeaks

Physical Description:
4 1/2-5 1/4" (11-13 cm). A small, streaked finch with sharp, pointed bill. Grayish-brown above, buffyClick word for definition below.

Similar Species- Immature Red Crossbill, juvenile Common Redpoll, female Purple Finch, House Finch.

Call an ascending, buzzy terrreeeeee. Song: te te tree te te tree tree te te.

Breeds from portions of Alaska and Canada, south to northern Baja California, central highlands of Mexico, Kansas, Pennsylvania, and southern New Jersey. Winters from breeding range, south to Gulf Coast and northern Florida.

Found in forests and woodlands, parks, gardens, and yards in suburban areas. During migrationClick word for definition and in winter, found in variety of woodland and forest habitats, in partly-open situations with scattered trees, and in open fields, pastures, and savannas. Preliminary results of Idaho-Montana study suggest species prefers old-growth stands over rotation-aged stands in Douglas- fir/ponderosa pine forests.

Eats seeds (e.g., alder, birch, pine, maple, thistle) and insects.

Bulds saucer-shaped nest in tree. May form loose colonies when nesting. Takes food from foliage, or forages on ground. gregariousClick word for definition. In fall and winter, travels in flocksClick word for definition of typically 50-200 individuals; occasionally, a few siskins will travel in flocks with goldfinches and redpolls.

Female incubatesClick word for definition 3-4 eggs (sometimes 5), for 13 days. Nestlings are altricialClick word for definition and downy. Both parents tend young, which leave nest 15 days after hatching. Female sometimes produces 2 broods/yr.

Element Code: ABPBY06030
Status: Protected nongame species
Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S5,NTMB
National Rank: N5

Important State References:
Hejl, S.J. and R.E. Woods. 1990. Bird assemblages in old-growth and rotation-aged Douglas-fir/Ponderosa pine stands in the northern Rocky Mountains: a preliminary assessment. Pp. 93-100 in D.M. Baumgartner and J.E. Lotan, eds., Proceedings of a Symposium on Interior Douglas-fir: the species and its management. Feb. 27, 1990, Spokane WA.

Photo by George Jameson, ©2002.
Design by Ean Harker©1999, 2000.
Written by Jason Karl, 2000.