About The Pine Siskin
The Pine Siskin belongs to the finch family of birds. This bird is very social all throughout the year. They fly in large flocks with a distinct undulating flight. The Pine Siskin is a small finch measuring in at 11-14 cm (4-6 in), with a wingspan of 18-22 cm (7-9 in) and a weight of 12-18 grams.
The Pine Siskin is generally brown all over but with heavy yellow streaking. Its belly and chest are a bit paler than its back. Its wings also have some yellow in them, which is more noticeable when in flight. The Pine Siskin’s bill is sharp and slender while its tail is notched.
The male and female Pine Siskin look alike. The male usually have more yellow markings, though. The immature Pine Siskin is similar to the adult bird as well.
The Pine Siskin Nesting Preferences
As can be gathered from the name, the Pine Siskin likes to inhabit pines and other coniferous trees. As such, when it comes to nesting, the Pine Siskin prefers to build its nest on a horizontal branch of a coniferous tree, far from the trunk. The female bird chooses the location of the nest as well as builds the nest herself.
The nest is shaped like a saucer and is made up of grass, rootlets, and twigs. It is lined with finer rootlets, feathers, fur, and moss. The Pine Siskin’s nest is usually concealed quite well.
Building a Birdhouse For The Pine Siskin
It won’t be too hard to attract Pine Siskins to your backyard as they are very social birds. As they are small, a simple birdhouse will suit them. Just make sure that you install adequate predator guards. Here are the suggested dimensions for a birdhouse: 12-1/2high x 6wide x 8-1/2deep. The floor area should be 4” x 4”. You should also put a hole with a diameter of 1 ½”.
The Pine Siskin Mating Habits
The mating and breeding habits of the Pine Siskin is unlike most other birds which depend on the season. The Pine Siskin’s reproductive activities are more closely linked with the food supply available. If there is abundant food then this bird will start breeding.
Pine Siskins are monogamous birds and a pair usually stays together for a long period of time. They pair up within winter flocks. When mating, Pine Siskins can either stay together as a loose colony or separate as individual pairs. This habit extends up to the nesting period.
The Pine Siskin Feeding Preferences
The Pine Siskin is basically a seed eater. In the forest it eats the seeds off pine trees and other coniferous tree. It also eats the seeds of deciduous trees and grass. Aside from seeds, they are also known to eat floral buds and tree nectar. The Pine Siskin is also known for its preference for thistle seed. If you want this bird to visit your feeder, you should never run short of thistle seed.
Interesting Pine Siskin Facts
- The name Siskin is derived from its sound or chirp. Thus, this bird’s common name is really “pine chirper”
- Pine Siskins are very social birds. In fact, they even build nests adjacent to each other, with only a few feet in between them.
- When eating from conifers, the Pine Siskin usually hangs upside down from the tips of the trees!