This Spring we saw the usual influx of siskins to our bird feeders in Mingarry. They seem particulary keen on nyger seed, sunflower hearts and peanuts and brighten up any day with their bright yellow/green plumage. Siskins are small finches, with distinct forked tails and small narrow bills. The males are brighter in colour than the females with black caps and bright yellow feathers. They have a sweet little trill and are often heard twittering high in the trees.
We have always wondered where the birds on our feeders come from. This Spring we noticed that a number of the birds were sporting jewellery, in the form of bird identification rings. We had an opportunity to examine one of the rings closely when one unfortunate siskin passed away. We noted the number and submitted it to the BTO via the Euring website. Several weeks later we heard back...
This bird was ringed as age at least 2 years, sex female on 29-May-2012 at Tarbet, Cnoc, Loch Lomond, Argyll and Bute
OS Map reference NN3205, co-ordinates 56deg 12min N 4deg 42min W.
It was found on 31-May-2013 at Mingarry, Highland
OS Map reference NM6869, co-ordinates 56deg 45min N 5deg 48min W.
According to the BTO birdfact file, a siskin typically lives for 2 years, so this little lady had opportunity to breed and enjoy a short life in and around the West Highlands. We wondered whether she originated from Loch Lomond or from further afield. We would love to find out more... If you have any sightings of local siskins with rings we would love to hear from you.