Pine Siskin

Pine Siskin

Spinus pinus

Least Concern

Hailing from the vast forests of North America, the Pine Siskin is a small, lively songbird known for its sharp beak and distinctive yellow-edged wings. Often found flocking in mixed groups, this unpredictable traveller is admired for its adaptability, surviving in various climates and elevations. Despite its modest size, the Pine Siskin leaves a lasting impression with its melodic twittering sounds and its relentless pursuit of seeds and insects.

Appearance and Identification

Males and females have similar plumage

Primary Color


Primary Color (juvenile)


Secondary Colors

Yellow, Black

Secondary Colors (female)

Secondary Colors (juvenile)

Yellow, Black

Secondary Colors (seasonal)

Wing Color


Wing Color (juvenile)


Beak Type

Short and sharp

Beak Color


Beak Color (juvenile)


Leg Color

Pinkish Brown

Leg Color (juvenile)

Pinkish Brown

Distinctive Markings

Streaked body, yellow-edged wings and tail

Distinctive Markings (juvenile)

Less yellow, more streaked

Tail Description

Forked and yellow-edged

Tail Description (juvenile)

Forked and less yellow-edged

Size Metrics

11cm to 14cm


18cm to 22cm


12g to 18g



Click on an image below to see the full-size version

Vocalization and Sounds

Primary Calls

Rapid, twittering sounds

Call Description

High pitched 'twee-twee-twee' and a repeated 'zreeet'

Alarm Calls

Harsh 'zreeet' sound

Behavior and Social Structure

Daily Activities

Active during the day, feeding mainly in the morning and evening

Social Habits

Flocks in winter, territorial during breeding season

Territorial Behavior

Defends nesting territories aggressively

Migratory Patterns

Variable, moves southward in winter

Interaction with Other Species

Usually in mixed flocks outside of breeding season


Primary Diet

Seeds, Insects

Feeding Habits

Forages in trees, bushes and on the ground

Feeding Times

Throughout the day

Prey Capture Method


Diet Variations

Diet changes with season and food availability

Special Dietary Needs (if any)

Needs access to sources of calcium during breeding season


Nesting Location

In trees, usually evergreens

Nest Construction

Small, compact cup of twigs, rootlets and grasses

Breeding Season

Late spring to early summer

Number of clutches (per breeding season)

One to two

Egg Appearance

Pale blue with fine, dark marks

Egg Size

Approximately 1.5cm x 2cm

Clutch Characteristics

3-5 eggs

Incubation Period

About 13 days

Fledgling Period

Approximately 2-3 weeks

Parental Care

Both parents feed and care for chicks

Distribution and Habitat

Geographic Range

North America, especially the northern parts and mountains

Habitat Description

Forests, especially coniferous and mixed woodlands

Elevation Range

Sea level to alpine

Migration Patterns

Variable, moves southward in winter


Forest, Mountain

Climate zones

Temperate, Subarctic

Distribution Map

Please note, this range and distribution map is a high-level overview, and doesn't break down into specific regions and areas of the countries.

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