Family Finches (Fringillidae)

Least Concern

Tibetan Siskin (Spinus thibetanus)


French: Tarin du Tibet German: Himalajazeisig Spanish: Jilguero tibetano
Other common names: Tibetan Serin

Chrysomitris thibetana

A. O. Hume

, 1872,

borders of Sikkim and Tibet


Sometimes placed in genus Serinus or Carduelis (as in HBW); genetic data#R necessitate its placement in or close to Spinus, with partial support for treating the species in its own genus Chionomitris, a possibility previously advanced on basis of morphology; thus further research needed. Monotypic.


SW & S China (S & SE Xizang; N Yunnan and W & SW Sichuan), NE India (Arunachal Pradesh) and N Myanmar; non-breeding (perhaps breeds) also N Nepal E to Bhutan and Assam.

Descriptive notes

10–12 cm; 10–12 g. Small, thin-billed finch with forked tail. Male has bright olive-green crown and upperparts, with rump and uppertail-coverts yellow or pale... read more


Song an extended version of the twittering call, mostly a nasal buzzing twitter of 2 or 3 notes,... read more


Breeds in submontane and montane conifer and mixed fir (Abies), hemlock (Tsuga)... read more

Food and feeding

Principally seeds, mainly those of alder and birch. Forages either on ground under bushes or in scrub or tops of trees. Active and restless... read more


Season at least May–Jun, when most in pairs. No further information.


Altitudinal migrant, making post-breeding descent to lower levels. In non-breeding season, arrives... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Little known. Generally scarce; rare to uncommon in China and NE India. Locally uncommon and erratic in occurrence in non-breeding range, but fairly... read more

Recommended citation

Clement, P. (2020). Tibetan Siskin (Spinus thibetanus). 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 27 February 2020).