Eurasian Siskin – April

©Nick Sidle – Full Screen Image

Eurasian Siskin driving off a larger European Greenfinch which had pushed it aside on an approach perch to a feeding site. Siskins don’t like queue jumpers. Yesterday was significantly colder than the normal for late April with snow lying on the ground overnight. As a result smaller birds in particular were desperate for food, that does not excuse abandoning all manners though. There is of course always pressure for resources between small birds and competition is often fierce but some recognition of who got there first can still apply. On a purely anecdotal basis from my own time spent watching them there does actually appear to be some difference in this between species. Greenfinches seem particularly ready to push any other bird aside and, although far from guaranteed, Siskins do seem to be the most ready to wait a turn especially with other Siskins. They also genuinely seem the most put out if they are queue jumped and react most strongly to it, even if the usurper is much bigger than they are. Perhaps there is a study waiting to be done; ‘Manners in foraging birds, a differentiation of etiquette between species’.


Glen Convinth,
Highland Scotland

Gallery – Scotland’s Birds

Gallery – Glen Convinth

Eurasian Siskin – Carduelis spinus

European Greenfinch – Carduelis carduelis