Family Finches (Fringillidae)

Least Concern

Ethiopian Siskin (Serinus nigriceps)


French: Serin à tête noire German: Schwarzkopfgirlitz Spanish: Serín cabecinegro
Other common names: Abyssinian Siskin

Serinus nigriceps


, 1840,

Simen Province, 10,000 feet [c. 3050 m], Ethiopia




N & C highlands of Ethiopia.

Descriptive notes

11–12·5 cm. Small finch with thin pointed bill and notched tip of tail. Male has entire head to hindneck, side of neck and throat sooty black, mantle and back... read more


Song, usually from top of tall shrub, weed-head or roadside powerlines, a series of pleasant... read more


Montane forest and open moorland grasslands, usually in open grassy areas of giant heath (Erica... read more

Food and feeding

Mostly seeds of plants and trees, including St John's wort and Hagenia abyssinica. Forages in pairs and small flocks, clinging... read more


Season May–Jun and Aug–Oct. Monogamous; territorial. Nest a compact cup of fine grasses, roots and plant down, placed low down... read more


Sedentary; may move to lower elevations in periods of severe weather.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Locally common or abundant within restricted range.

Recommended citation

Clement, P. (2019). Ethiopian Siskin (Serinus nigriceps). 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 19 May 2019).