Carduelis spinus Linnaeus, 1758 ♀
Common names: Eurasian siskin [En], Tarin des aulnes [Fr], Sijs [Nl], Erlenzeisig [De], Luchernino europeo [It], Jilguero Lúgano [Es], Λούγαρο, Θκιολαρούδι [Gr], Kara başlı iskete [Tu]
IUCN Status : LC (Least Concern)
Hamoir, LIEGE ● Belgium
Description: The siskin is a small, short-tailed bird, 11–12.5 cm in length with a wingspan that ranges from 20–23 cm.
It shows sexual dimorphism. The male has a greyish green back; yellow rump; the sides of the tail are yellow and the end is black; the wings are black with a distinctive yellow wing stripe; its breast is yellowish becoming whiter and striped towards the cloaca; it has a black bib (or chin patch) and on its head it has two yellow auriculas and a black cap.
The plumage of the female is more olive-coloured than the male. The cap and the auriculas are greenish with a white bib and a rump that is a slightly striped whitish yellow.
The young have a similar colouration to the females, with drab colours and a more subdued plumage.
The beak is strong but also slender in order to pick up the seeds on which they feed. The legs and feet are dark brown and the eyes are black.
Biology: These birds have an unusual migration pattern as every few years in winter they migrate southwards in large numbers. They are very active and restless birds. They are also very social, forming small cohesive flocks especially in autumn and winter.
This small finch is an acrobatic feeder, often hanging upside-down like a tit. It will visit garden bird feeding stations.
Pairs are generally formed during the winter period before migration. The males compete aggressively for the females. They build a nest that is generally located at the end of a relatively high branch in a conifer, and the female lays 2–6 eggs.
Habitat: Forested areas, both coniferous and mixed woodland where it feeds on seeds of all kinds, especially of alder and conifers.
Distribution: This species can be found across the greater part of Eurasia and the north of Africa. Its breeding area is separated into two zones, each side of the Palearctic ecozone: the east coast of Asia and the central and northern part of Europe.
These birds can be found throughout the year in Central Europe and some mountain ranges in the south of the continent. They are present in the north of Scandinavia and in Russia and they over-winter in the Mediterranean basin and the area around the Black Sea.
Wikipedia, Eurasian siskin