Family Finches (Fringillidae)

Least Concern

Hooded Siskin (Spinus magellanicus)


French: Tarin de Magellan German: Magellanzeisig Spanish: Jilguero encapuchado

Fringilla magellanica


, 1805,

southern America and vicinity of Straits of Magellan; error = Buenos Aires, Argentina


Recent genetic study indicates paraphyly between this species and several other South American siskins, with race alleni appearing as sister to S. xanthogastrus, suggesting that more than one species might be involved in S. magellanicus#R. Has been considered conspecific with S. olivaceus, from which it differs mainly in habitat preference, but the two hybridize in NW Peru; also hybridizes with S. uropygialis in S Peru, and Peruvian populations of present species are sister to latter species#R. Race bolivianus possibly of hybrid origin. Twelve subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • S. m. capitalis (Cabanis, 1866) – Andean Hooded Siskin – C Andes from WC & S Colombia and Ecuador S to NW Peru (La Libertad).
  • S. m. paulus Todd, 1926 – S Ecuador (Milagros) S in W Andes to SW Peru (Arequipa).
  • S. m. peruanus Berlepsch & Stolzmann, 1896 – C Peru (Huánuco to Ayacucho and Cuzco).
  • S. m. urubambensis Todd, 1926 – S Peru (Cuzco) and N Chile (Tarapacá).
  • S. m. santaecrucis Todd, 1926 – C Bolivia (Santa Cruz).
  • S. m. hoyi (König, 1981) – C Andes of NW Argentina (Jujuy).
  • S. m. tucumanus Todd, 1926 – W Andes and foothills of N Argentina (Jujuy S to E Mendoza).
  • S. m. longirostris (Sharpe, 1888) – SE Venezuela, W Guyana and adjacent N Brazil.
  • S. m. bolivianus (Sharpe, 1888) – S Bolivia.
  • S. m. alleni Ridgway, 1899 – SE Bolivia, Paraguay and NE Argentina.
  • S. m. ictericus (M. H. C. Lichtenstein, 1823) – E & SE Brazil (mainly S from Minas Gerais) and E & S Paraguay.
  • S. m. magellanicus (Vieillot, 1805) – Lowland Hooded Siskin – E Argentina (S Corrientes to Río Negro) and Uruguay.
  • Descriptive notes

    10–12 cm; 11–15·5 g. Small, bright greenish-yellow finch with sharply pointed bill and slightly forked tail. Male nominate race has head to nape, throat... read more


    Song, usually from prominent perch or in flight, and often for long periods, a varied series of... read more


    Lowland to lower montane woodlands, secondary woodland, savanna with scattered trees and small... read more

    Food and feeding

    Mainly seeds, buds and leaves of a variety of plants, including thistles and lettuces (Lactuca); also occasionally small insects.... read more


    Nest-building seen in Oct–Jan, eggs in Mar and Jun, and fledglings in Feb and Jul; possibly breeds throughout year. Nest placed in... read more


    Resident and nomadic. Wanders at random throughout range in non-breeding season, when erratic in... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common to locally common in much of range; rare to locally common in N Andes of Colombia; status in Guyana uncertain. Possibly only a vagrant in SW... read more

    Recommended citation

    Clement, P. (2020). Hooded Siskin (Spinus magellanicus). 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 17 February 2020).