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Siskin: bottoms up

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Siskin: bottoms up

In recent years the siskin (Carduelis spinus) has been becoming more and more common in gardens during the winter months and it now features in the lower reaches of the annual RSPB Garden Birdwatch top twenty. Like their close relative, the greenfinch (and both are relatives of the canary), siskins are ravenous seed eaters and the tendency nowadays is to put out seed rather than peanuts or bread for birds in gardens and this may well account for this up turn in numbers.

If you have a feeding station that does not have little perches you will notice that the siskin has a definite preference for eating upside down! This is because it has to point downwards to get at seeds in fir cones in its normal habitat, coniferous forest.

Living not too far from Wareham forest where siskins nest they are frequent visitors to our garden and at their peak we have had as many as nine at one sitting. They are more numerous in spring and early summer because natural food in the forest is in short supply during this time. 



This is just my nature note: for lots more information including distribution maps, status charts, identification guidance and more photographs go to the species home page by clicking/tapping the icon