Family Finches (Fringillidae)

Least Concern

Yellow-bellied Siskin (Spinus xanthogastrus)


French: Tarin à ventre jaune German: Gelbbauchzeisig Spanish: Jilguero ventriamarillo

Chrysomitris xanthogastra

du Bus de Gisignies

, 1855,

Ocaña, Colombia


Comprehensive molecular phylogeny of South American siskins recovered this species as sister to race alleni of S. magellanicus#R. Speed of songs of races have been contrasted, with stejnegeri being slower#R, but nominate occasionally also sings a simple song with well-separated notes; thus differences minor#R. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • S. x. xanthogastrus (du Bus de Gisignies, 1855) – mountains of Costa Rica and W Panama (W Chiriquí), Colombia, NW & N Venezuela and NW & SW Ecuador; reported in NW Peru (Tumbes).
  • S. x. stejnegeri (Sharpe, 1888) – extreme SE Peru (E Puno) and W Bolivia (to W Santa Cruz).
  • Descriptive notes

    10–11·5 cm; 10·8·13·8 g (Panama). Small finch with fine bill and notched tail. Male nominate race has head, upperparts and chin to centre of... read more


    Song a rapid and varied jumbled series of bubbling notes, melodious twitters and buzzing trills,... read more


    Edges of humid forest and woods, clearings with scattered trees and bushes, coffee plantations and... read more

    Food and feeding

    Mostly plant seeds. Forages at all levels in trees, usually from middle to upper canopy level, less frequently on the ground and in low... read more


    Season at least Mar–May and Sept–Nov. Nest built by female, a thick-walled cup of bush and plant fibres, roots, fungal strips,... read more


    Resident or partially nomadic; erratic in appearance in some areas of range in non-breeding season. read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Uncommon to scarce or rare; perhaps locally common in remote parts of range. Uncommon to rare in Costa Rica (Cordillera Central and Cordillera de... read more

    Recommended citation

    Clement, P. (2019). Yellow-bellied Siskin (Spinus xanthogastrus). 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 23 May 2019).