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Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

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Forest and Rangeland Birds of the United States

Natural History and Habitat Use

Pine Siskin -- Carduelis pinus

RANGE: Breeds from central Alaska south through the Western United States and east across Canada to Newfoundland. Winters throughout Eastern and Southern United States from New England, the Great Lakes, and the Northern Plains States, south into Mexico. Resident in the southern Rocky Mountains, southwestern deserts, and the Pacific Coast.

STATUS: Irregularly common in large flocks.

HABITAT: Generally inhabits coniferous forests, and prefers those with low to intermediate canopy cover. Less numerous in second-growth alders, aspen, and broadleaf trees along the fringes of coniferous forests. Very social, forms flocks with other species.


NEST: Generally locates nest on a conifer branch, often in the shelter of another small branch and usually 15-35 feet above the ground.

FOOD: An opportunistic feeder that gleans food from foliage, bark of conifers, and from the ground. Also eats seeds, some berries, and a wide variety of insects.

REFERENCES: Forbush and May 1955, Weaver and West 1943, Terres 1980.

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