Family Finches (Fringillidae)

Least Concern

Black-headed Siskin (Spinus notatus)


French: Tarin à tête noire German: Schwarzbrustzeisig Spanish: Jilguero cabecinegro

Carduelis notata

du Bus de Gisignies

, 1847,

Jalapa, Veracruz, Mexico


Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • S. n. forreri (Salvin & Godman, 1886) – W Mexico (S Sonora and Chihuahua to Guerrero).
  • S. n. notatus (du Bus de Gisignies, 1847) – E & C Mexico (S from San Luis Potosí) and Guatemala.
  • S. n. oleaceus Griscom, 1932 – S Belize to N Nicaragua.
  • Descriptive notes

    10–12 cm; 10–12·2 g (Belize). Small, greenish-yellow finch with black head, bright yellow wing-flashes, sharply pointed bill and notched tail. Male... read more


    Song a varied and rapid series of jangling or twittering notes, interspersed with nasal or metallic... read more


    Lower montane and submontane conifer forest and pine-oak (Pinus-Quercus) forest,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Mostly seeds of various plants and pine seeds. Forages in trees, on the ground and by clinging to flowerheads or seedheads in manner of... read more


    Season May–Jul. Nest apparently similar to that of S. pinus; clutch 2 eggs. No further information available.


    Resident and altitudinal migrant. Those at higher areas of range descend to adjacent lower levels... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common to locally common.

    Recommended citation

    Clement, P. (2020). Black-headed Siskin (Spinus notatus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 25 February 2020).