The Pine Siskin is a relatively common, small finch of conifer woodlands and some mixed woods. Perched on a branch this little one is enjoying some black oil sunflower seeds. In the winter Siskins gather in groups with lesser Redpolls and feed on seeds in birch and alder woodland, as well as bird tables. They tend to flock to thistle or nyjer feeders and other small seeds such as millet or hulled sunflower seeds. They may hang around whole sunflower seed feeders if heavier billed-birds are messy eaters and drop seed bits. There are also contact calls, which birds can use to talk to each other when foraging for food.
When looking at the back of the male Pine Siskin you will see they are brown with a whitish and coarse, dark streaking on the belly. The female Pine Siskins are similar to the males in appearance, but their tails are greatly reduced in colour.
For reasons that are not fully understood, Pine Siskins are particularly susceptible to salmonella. When large numbers of Pine Siskins congregate day after day, particularly during the stressful winter months, salmonella can quickly spread through a local population. / SANDRA JAMES