• FREE MAINLAND UK POSTAGE when you spend more than £34.99
  • We plant trees with every order! Find out more
  • Quality pet supplies delivered direct to your door
  • Follow us on Instagram and join our community
  • Find food and accessories for your garden birds, fish, hedgehog and more...

Siskin Feeding Guide

on July 16, 2021

If you are wondering what to feed these Siskin birds, you have come to the right place. This Siskin feeding guide will fill you in on everything you will need to know.

First things first though.. have you heard of Siskin, do you know what a Siskin is and would you recognise a Siskin if you saw one?

Some of you may already know but for those of you who would like to know more, we have put together some key information about Siskin.

What is a Siskin?

A Siskin (carduelis spinus) is a small bird that comes from the finch (Fringillidae) bird family.

A Siskin usually: 

Approx Size: Length 12cm Wingspan 20-23cm and Weight 12-18 g

To put into some perspective as to the size if you have not seen one before, they are usually bigger than a blue tit but smaller than a robin. 

A British bird, Siskin usually live from southern England to northern Scotland. The most popular site of residence for a siskin is in Scotland and Wales.

Siskin bird facts

  • UK’s Siskin population stay here all year round
  • The first one of these lively Siskin birds was recorded in medieval times.
  •  Winter time will also see the arrival of migrants Eurasian Siskin (spinus spinus) from northern Europe, departing in the springtime.


Picture of Eurasian Siskin (spinus spinus):  Tree photo created by wirestock - www.freepik.com

If you would like to know more detail here is useful link by the BTO - British Trust for Ornithology 

What does a Siskin bird look like?

To recognise a Siskin bird, both males and females have yellow-and-black-striped wings. They have a distinctive fork tail and a long narrow bill.

There are also some distinctive differences to identify the gender of a Siskin bird.

Male Siskins

  • Bright yellow breast and cheeks
  • Black cap


Female Siskins

  • Predominantly pale with dark streaks
  • Traces of dull yellow


Now that you know some key information, it is now time to get down to the feeding a Siskin!

What do Siskins eat

Siskin birds primarily eat a variety of seeds and in the summer, they can supplement their diet with some insects.

A Siskin bird has a fine beak is designed for eating small seeds.

Siskin birds take seeds from:

  • Pine / spruce cones
  • Conifers
  • Alder
  • Birch
  • Elm
  • Thistles
  • Dock

 What seeds do Siskins eat

For a Siskin diet, we would recommend the following products as these not only attract more Siskins to your garden as they are a firm favourite, but also to ensure you are meeting their optimal dietary requirements.


Siskins will happily feed from hanging feeders. As a Siskin bird enjoys peanuts and niger seeds, you may need a suitable feeder such as Extra Select Peanut Feeder and Extra Select Niger Seed Feeder.

Top tip: Set out dinner for more than one Siskin diner!!


Siskins like to be sociable diners, so if you put out multiple feeders or a feeder with several ports are ideal.

If you now wondering where to put out multiple feeders in your garden ready for your bird diners, it might be worth checking out something like this that can be found in our online store Johnston & Jeff Wooden Feeding Station . This bird station has four large arms, and four smaller arms and as this feeding station can hold at least 8 bird feeders all at once.  Also, as this one is made from wood, if you really wanted to, you could even add some further struts should you wish!

How to attract a Siskin in the garden

Siskin birds like woodland type areas and usually venture into gardens specially when natural seed and crops are low. These little lively birds have become a regular visitor to gardens.


 To make a Siskin bird feel at home in your garden you could plant

  • ornamental conifers such as cypress

 Siskin birds tend to visit gardens in the wet weather. The primary reason for this is due to the wet weather, cones that they feed on are closed.

When a Siskin bird is feeding, they often hang upside down to reach tree seeds.

At garden feeding stations, Siskins are especially attracted to niger seed. Siskin birds will often feed alongside birds such as a Goldfinches on a special niger seed feeder and sunflower hearts (in a tube feeder or table or ground table) and peanuts in a mesh feeder.

Top 3 tips for feeding Siskin

  1. Use fresh and quality seed
  2. Use multiple feeders
  3. Regularly clean feeders and your designated feeding area

What colour does a siskin like? 

 Top favourite colour for a Siskin bird is...


 A Siskin bird is especially attracted to red coloured feeders containing peanuts, seeds or fat.


Winter feeding usually provides the most benefits to birds. However by putting out some feed for birds in your garden all year round, it will give the birds a stronger chance of survival when food shortages occur whether it is something that could be temporary and can happen at any time of the year.

When you feed any type of bird in the garden especially in the summer months, practicing good hygiene is important. The warmer weather can make food go off quicker and provide conditions for harmful bacteria to grow. So make sure that you regularly clean out and scrub any feeder both inside and outside, taking care to remove any left over disregard food. A cleaning brush such as the Supa Cleaning Brush makes the feeder easily accessible so you can rinse it out with fresh cold water from a tap.

If food takes a few days to all be eaten, it might be worth reducing the amount the food that you are offering but do monitor your food supply that you are offering to the garden birds. Rinse out your feeder, allow to dry completely before refilling it.

Now that you know what a Siskin bird likes, favourite location, favourite food and even their favourite colour hopefully you will be able to hear the sweet twittering of a flock of Siskins feeding among the trees....such a pleasant sight and sound.


Have you seen one of these acrobatic and lively Siskin birds in your garden? If so, have you tried to counting how many finch diners you had at your feeding area? We would love to hear your comments.

Oh... and finally don't forget!, if you found our article interesting, why not share it across with your friends and family.

1 comment
by Margaret Hilley on March 30, 2023

Very interesting and informative. Our Siskin friends have returned to our garden feeders just this week, following their woodland winter feeding. Lovely to watch .

Leave a Comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published