Yellow-faced siskin | American birds

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The yellow-faced siskin (Spinus yarrellii) belongs to the family of finches and siskins, the Fringillidae.

The yellow-faced siskin species is distributed in Venezuela and Brazil. There is severe decline in the population of these siskin species and the IUCN has listed them as 'Vulnerable'. These siskins are monotypic species.
Overview & Quick Facts Description & Identification
Pictures of Yellow-faced Siskin Distribution & Range
Ecosystem & Habitat Diet & Feeding Behavior
Breeding Habits Migration & Movement Patterns
Conservation & Survival IUCN Status
Taxonomy & Classification Bird World

Appearance, physical description and identification

The yellow-faced siskin (Spinus yarrellii) is a small-sized siskin, measuring 10 cm in length.

The yellow-faced siskin has overall bright yellowish golden plumage. The male birds have black forehead, crown, lores and nape. The face, throat, neck and underparts are brightly yellowish.

The upperparts are olive with dark olive stripes. The rump is yellowish. The wings are black with yellowish wing-bar and wing-patch. The black tail is slightly forked. The female siskin has yellowish-olive crown.

The bill is pointed and silvery gray. The irises are blackish brown and there is a gray eye-ring. The legs and feet are pale pinkish gray. The call of the yellow-faced siskin is a varied, high-pitched and harsh warbling sound.
Birds of South America - Photo of Yellow-faced siskin - Spinus yarrellii
1.Birds of South America - Photo of Yellow-faced siskin - Spinus yarrellii by Antonio Arnaiz-Villena

Origin, geographical range and distribution

These yellow-faced siskin species are distributed in two widely disjunct regions in north Venezuela and northeast Brazil. In Brazil, they occur in the states of Bahia, Piaui, Alagoas, Sergipe, Pernambuco, Paraiba and Ceara.

The Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA) of the yellow-faced siskin in Venezuela is Henri Pittier National Park.

Some of the IBAs of these yellow-faced siskin species in Brazil are, Tapacurá, Serra do Baturité, Serra de Ibiapaba, Serra de Bonito, Raso da Catarina, Murici, Mamanguape, Guadalupe, Chapada do Araripe and Brejo dos Cavalos.

Ecosystem and habitat

These yellow-faced siskin species have low forest dependence. They normally occur in altitudes from 0 to 500 meters. The artificial ecosystems and habitats of these species include agricultural lands, plantations and urban areas.

The natural ecosystems and habitats of these yellow-faced siskin species include tropical and subtropical moist montane forests, secondary-growth forests and tropical and subtropical dry shrublands.

Diet and feeding behavior

The diet of these yellow-faced siskin species consists mainly of fruits. A variety of wild fruits and seeds of wild plants may be their primary food.

Reproduction and breeding habits

The breeding season and breeding habits of the yellow-faced siskin species are not known. In Saltinho, nests were found in exotic pine Pinus spp. trees (S. Aline Roda in litt. 2007).

Migration and movement patterns

These yellow-faced siskin species are non-migratory resident birds. The populations in the higher altitudes may move to lower levels in winter.

Post breeding, the juveniles may disperse and establish in new locations within the range. Within their range they may make local movements for feeding and breeding.

Yellow-faced siskin - Quick Facts

  • Scientific name: Spinus yarrellii
  • Species author: (Audubon, 1839)
  • Synonyms/Protonym: Carduelis yarrellii Audubon, 1839
  • Family: Fringillidae › Passeriformes › Aves › Chordata › Animalia
  • Vernacular names: English: Yellow-faced siskin, Chinese: 黄脸金翅雀, French: Tarin de Yarrell, German: Yarrellzeisig, Spanish: Jilguero cariamarillo, Russian: Желтолицый чиж, Japanese: キガオヒワ
  • Other names: Yellow Faced Siskin
  • Distribution: Venezuela, Brazil
  • Diet and feeding habits: fruits, seeds
  • IUCN status listing: Vulnerable (VU)

Conservation and survival

The global population size of the yellow-faced siskin (Spinus yarrellii) is estimated to number about 6,000 to 15,000 mature individual birds. The overall population trend of the species is considered to be decreasing.

In most of its range, this siskin species is reported as rare. The generation length is 4.2 years. Its distribution size is about 92,900

Habitat alteration, fragmentation and destruction and capture for pet-trade are the main threats that are endangering the survival of these siskin species.

IUCN and CITES status

The yellow-faced siskin (Spinus yarrellii) has approached the thresholds for being Vulnerable under the range size criterion, under the population trend criterion and under the population size criterion.

The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has categorized and evaluated the species and has listed it as "Vulnerable".

The CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) status is ‘Not Evaluated’ for the yellow-faced siskin (Spinus yarrellii).
Taxonomy and scientific classification of Spinus yarrellii
Species:S. yarrellii
Binomial name:Spinus yarrellii
IUCN status listing:
The yellow-faced siskin (Spinus yarrellii) is closely related to the hooded siskin (Spinus magellanicus) and the Andean siskin (Spinus spinescens).
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Yellow-faced siskin photo source: (cropped)
Photo author: Antonio Arnaiz-Villena | License: CC BY-SA 4.0 as on 6/19/18
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