Saffron Siskin Spinus siemiradzkii

  • © Jonathan Newman

Long placed in the genus Carduelis, but recently transferred, along with all other Neotropical siskins, to Spinus based on the results of a far-reaching molecular study, the Saffron Siskin is a rare inhabitant of arid scrub and deciduous woodland in southwest Ecuador and immediately adjacent northwest Peru. BirdLife International currently treats the species as Vulnerable and warns that it might merit uplisting to Endangered, despite that, at least seasonally, the Saffron Siskin appears able to persist in relatively disturbed areas, and it is currently known from four protected areas. Our knowledge of this species has increased substantially in recent years, in large part due to considerable interest, both ornithological and conservationist, in the avifauna of the Tumbesian region, and just 20 years ago this species’ geographical and altitudinal range was thought to be far more circumscribed than we now know it to be. The male Saffron Siskin is predominantly yellow with a black hood, tail and wings, and yellow covert fringes and primary bases, whereas the female is considerably duller and lacks any trace of a hood. The most likely confusion risk is with the much more abundant Hooded Siskin (Spinus magellanicus), which has an olive, not yellow, mantle with black markings, and both sexes are much less yellow.

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© Andrew Spencer

  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding

Recommended Citation

Saffron Siskin (Spinus siemiradzkii), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: