Pine Siskins breed mostly in coniferous forests of Canada and at higher
elevations further south. The female, accompanied by the male, builds a cup
nest of twigs and grasses from 3 to 50 feet high out on a branch of a
conifer tree. From 2 to 6 eggs, incubated by the female, hatch in about two
weeks. The young are tended by both parents who feed them by regurgitation.
The young birds fledge in another two weeks. A pair of Siskins may produce
two clutches in a season.
According to the web page of the Bird Banding Lab, a total 582,822 Pine
Siskins were banded between 1955 and 2000. Of these, 2,237 have been
encountered, an encounter rate of 0.38%.
If you should recover a banded bird, you can report the band number to
the Bird Banding Lab by calling 1-800-327-BAND.
Economic Importance & Conservation Status
The diet of the Pine Siskin consists of seeds of trees such as pines,
sweet gum, maple, eucalyptus, alder, birches and spruce. Weed seeds such as
thistle are also taken along with many insects such as caterpillars,
grasshoppers, aphids, and scale insects. By consuming many varieties of
insect and weed pests, these birds perform an important service by helping
to keep destructive insects under control.
Populations of Pine Siskins seem to be doing well, with population
increases noted in many regions of North America.
Back to Top | Back to Bird
All images are courtesy of CWBO. All image copyrights are owned by CWBO.
Any use of these images must have permission of CWBO.