The Pine Siskin (Spinus pinus) is a small bird in the finch family, which is native to North America. These birds are known for their distinctive markings and unique features, which make them easily identifiable.
The Pine Siskin is about the size of a sparrow, measuring around 4 to 5 inches in length and weighing only 0.4 to 0.6 ounces. The male and female are similar in appearance, with a brownish-gray body and dark streaking on the wings and back. The head and breast are marked with yellow streaks, and there is a bold, sharp beak. The tail is pointed and notched, and the wings are short and pointed.
One of the most distinguishing features of the Pine Siskin is its wings, which have a distinct yellow stripe on the flight feathers. This stripe is visible when the bird is in flight and can help birdwatchers quickly identify the species. Additionally, these birds have a distinctive call, which sounds like a sharp, high-pitched “zreeee” or “zeer” sound.
During breeding season, male Pine Siskins may have more yellow on their plumage, especially on their head and breast. However, during the winter months, both males and females have a more muted appearance, with less yellow and more brown and gray coloring.
Overall, the Pine Siskin is a small, but distinctive bird that is easily recognizable due to its unique markings and call. These birds are common in North America and can be found in a variety of habitats, including coniferous forests, woodlands, and even suburban areas with bird feeders.