What are siskins?

Siskins are chattering finches, smaller than a greenfinch, that normally peak in their use of gardens during late winter.


How big are siskins?

Siskins are around 12cm in length with a wingspan of around 20-23cm. They weigh12-18g

How to attract siskins to your garden

Siskins will take a range of seeds in gardens. Their favourites are sunflower hearts and nyjer seed. Sunflower hearts can be provided from a standard seed feeder but nyjer seed is very fine and requires a special nyjer seed feeder.

Siskins are sociable diners, so feeders with several ports are ideal. Similar to other finches, siskins appear to prefer larger perches (circular or triangular) rather than straight bars.

How to spot a siskin

Siskins are mainly yellow-green in colour, with bright yellow wing bars, rump and markings on the tail. These brighter markings are more noticeable in adult males, which also have a black crown and bib.

Females are duller and streakier than males, and lack the black crown and bib.

Youngsters are streakier again, are browner on the back and generally appear more washed out than females.

Siskins can be confused with superficially similar greenfinches. To help distinguish ‘green’ finches in your garden the BTO has reissued a handy downloadable identification guide

Main image © Edmund Fellowes


The British Trust of Ornithology (BTO) works in partnership with over 30,000 volunteer birdwatchers to chart the fortunes of UK birds.