#418 Pine Siskin (Spinus pinus)

27 April 2021

Occasional winter visitors – not seen every year in this area. Generally nest in open coniferous or mixed forests, but also inhabit parks, cemeteries, and suburban woodlands, where they breed in ornamental conifers or deciduous trees. While they favor feeding in open forest canopies where cone seeds are abundant, they’ll forage in habitats as diverse as deciduous forests and thickets, meadows, grasslands, weedy fields, roadsides, chaparral, and backyard gardens and lawns. They flock to backyard feeders offering small seeds. Mineral deposits can lure them to otherwise unattractive habitats like winter road beds that are salted to melt snow and ice.

Pine Siskins are fairly common, but their numbers can be difficult to estimate due to the large and hard-to-predict movements they make each year. Partners in Flight estimates that populations have declined by 80% since 1970.

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