Pine Siskin Carduelis pinus
Order: PASSERIFORMES Family: Finches (Fringillidae)
adult male Pine Siskin is grayish brown with conspicuous brown
striping. The wing and base of the tail have conspicuous yellow
trimming. The Siskin is about 4.5 to 5.25 inches long, and weighs about
12g (1.5 oz).
Siskins eat seeds of alders, birches, spruce, and other trees. They
also feed on thistle and other weed seeds, forbs, buds, insects, and
spiders. They are attracted to salt licks and salt treated highways in
the winter and sometimes drink sap at drill wells created by sapsuckers.
As winter approaches, Pine Siskins become considerably plumper to help
them survive. Each bird can pack sufficient seeds into its expandable
esophagus to support itself through five hours of rest at -4 degree
According to Ron Pittaway’s Winter Finch Forecast
only a very small number of siskins are expected to irrupt south into
mid-Michigan. But make sure to wash your feeders at least once a month or bring them in to our Wild Birds Unlimited stores in East Lansing or Okemos, Michigan for us to clean.