Family Finches (Fringillidae)

Least Concern

Eurasian Siskin (Spinus spinus)


French: Tarin des aulnes German: Erlenzeisig Spanish: Jilguero lúgano

Carduelis Spinus


, 1758,



Has hybridized with Linaria cannabina. Monotypic.


Discontinuously throughout Europe from N Scandinavia to N & C Spain, Corsica, N & S Italy and Balkans to N Greece, and continuously E from Baltic and Poland through C parts of W Russia, NC Kazakhstan and W Siberia to upper R Ob (irregularly to R Yenisey), and in S from Ukraine, W Caucasus and NW & N Turkey E to N Iran; also in Russian Far East from L Baikal and Yablonovy Range E to Transbaikalia, Sea of Okhotsk coast, Ussuriland, Sakhalin, S Kuril Is and NE China (N Inner Mongolia and Heilongjiang), perhaps also C Kamchatka and N Japan (C & E Hokkaido). Winters S to NW Africa, Cyprus, Middle East, Korea, Japan, E & SE China and Taiwan.

Descriptive notes

11–12 cm; 10·1–18·5 g. Small, greenish-yellow finch with fine bill, bright yellow wingbars and slightly forked tail. Male has black cap from... read more


Song, usually from treetop or similar high perch or in flight over territory, a rapid jumbled... read more


Breeds in boreal and temperate lowland, submontane and montane conifer forests, mainly spruce (... read more

Food and feeding

Mostly seeds, buds and fruit; some invertebrates. Seeds and buds include those of spruce, pine, juniper (Juniperus), cypress (... read more


Season late Feb/Mar–Aug, timing dependent on cone crop; two broods, but only one in years with poor cone crop. Monogamous. Solitary,... read more


Resident and migratory; periodically irruptive. S populations, mostly those in Europe (S from... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Common or locally common throughout most of range; uncommon in summer in N Japan. Estimated European breeding population 3,000,000... read more

Recommended citation

Clement, P. (2019). Eurasian Siskin (Spinus spinus). 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 13 November 2019).