Family Finches (Fringillidae)


Yellow-faced Siskin (Spinus yarrellii)


French: Tarin de Yarrell German: Yarrellzeisig Spanish: Jilguero cariamarillo

Carduelis yarrellii


, 1839,

Upper California; error = Bahia, Brazil


The results of a recent genetic study#R suggest that this species is more closely related to S. magellanicus than to S. spinescens, with which it has traditionally been grouped, but the sample of S. yarrellii involved a single captive individual. Monotypic.


NE Brazil (Piauí, Rio Grande do Norte, Pernambuco and Alagoas S to NC Bahia; formerly widespread). Introduced to N Venezuela (Carabobo); recorded once in Colombia#R.

Descriptive notes

10 cm. Very small, bright yellow finch with fine, pointed bill and slightly forked tail. Male has forehead and upper lores to upper nape black, face and side of neck bright... read more


Poorly known; song a complex and varied, high-pitched, ringing warble.  


Edges of lowland humid forest, secondary-growth woodland, caatinga, edges of cultivation,... read more

Food and feeding

Poorly known. One specimen found to have eaten small fruits; presumably also takes various seeds. No other information.


No published information. Nests said to have been found in exotic pine trees (Pinus) in Pernambuco (Saltinho), NE Brazil.


Presumed sedentary.

Status and conservation

VULNERABLE. CITES II. Extremely rare; surviving populations concentrated in Alagoas, with recent records from Pedra Talhada, Murici and Usina Laginha. Has been recorded at... read more

Recommended citation

Clement, P. & Sharpe, C.J. (2020). Yellow-faced Siskin (Spinus yarrellii). 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 25 February 2020).