Black-chinned siskin (Spinus barbatus)

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The black-chinned siskin (Spinus barbatus) belongs to the family of finches and siskins, the Fringillidae.

The black-chinned siskin species are distributed in Argentina, Chile and Falkland Islands in South America. The siskin species is widespread and common. This siskin species is monotypic.

Key Facts Description
Pictures of Black-chinned Siskin Distribution
Ecosystem & Habitat Conservation

Black-chinned siskin - Description and identification

The black-chinned siskin (Spinus barbatus) is a small finch, measuring 10 to 15 cm in length and weighing 10 to 20 grams.

These siskin species have greenish-yellow plumage. The males have a raised dark crown and dark central, upper throat. The upperparts have blackish streaks. The underparts are greenish-yellow. The females are duller and lack the dark crown.

The bill is small and grayish. The legs and feet are grayish. The irises are dark. The call is a song given from a prominent perch.
Black-chinned siskin - Spinus barbatus
1.Black-chinned siskin - Spinus barbatus
Image by Juan Tassara

Spinus barbatus image
2.Black-chinned siskin - Spinus barbatus
Image by Dick Culbert

Spinus barbatus image
3.Black-chinned siskin - Spinus barbatus
Image by Valentina Requesens

Black-chinned siskin - Geographical range and distribution

These species are distributed in southern Argentina, central and southern Chile and Falkland Islands in South America.

Ecosystem and habitat

The black-chinned siskin species have low forest dependence. They normally occur in altitudes between 0 to 1500 meters. The artificial ecosystems include heavily degraded forests, gardens and urban areas.

The natural ecosystems and habitats of the species include temperate forests, shrublands and grasslands, foothill forests, montane forests and grasslands, coniferous forests, broad-leaf forests and open lowlands.

Diet and feeding behavior

The diet of these species consists mainly of seeds. Small larval and adult insects, small beetles and plant matter are their primary food. They are usually seen in flocks, feeding on the ground.

Reproduction and breeding habits

The breeding season of these siskin species is from July to February in most of their breeding range. They may raise up to three broods.

The breeding ecosystem includes trees and shrubs in temperate regions. The nest is a cup made with grasses, rootlets, plant fibers and animal hair.

Migration and movement patterns

The black-chinned siskin species are non-migratory resident birds. The populations in higher altitudes may descend to lower levels during 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.

Black-chinned siskin - Quick Facts

  • Scientific name: Spinus barbatus
  • Species author: (Molina, 1782)
  • Synonyms/Protonym: Fringilla barbata Molina, 1782
  • Family: Fringillidae › Passeriformes › Aves › Chordata › Animalia
  • Vernacular names: English: Black-chinned siskin, Chinese: 黑颏金翅雀, French: Tarin à menton noir, German: Bartzeisig, Spanish: Jilguero golinegro, Russian: Бородатый чиж, Japanese: ヤッコヒワ
  • Other names: Black-chinned Siskin
  • Distribution: Argentina, Chile, Falkland Islands
  • Diet and feeding habits: seeds, insects, larval insects
  • IUCN status listing: Least Concern (LC)

Black-chinned siskin - Conservation and survival

The global population size of the black-chinned siskin (Spinus barbatus) has not been quantified. The overall population trend of the species is considered to be stable.

In most of its range, this siskin species is reported to be common (Stotz et al. 1996). The generation length is 4.2 years. Its distribution size is about 2,620,000

Ecosystem degradation, ecosystem conversion and capture of adults and juveniles for pet-trade are the main threats that may endanger the survival of the siskin species.

IUCN and CITES status

The black-chinned siskin (Spinus barbatus) species does not approach the thresholds for being Vulnerable either under the range size criterion or under the population trend criterion or under the population size criterion.

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

The CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) status is ‘Not Evaluated’ for the black-chinned siskin (Spinus barbatus).
Taxonomy and scientific classification of Spinus barbatus
Species:S. barbatus
Binomial name:Spinus barbatus
IUCN status listing:
Least Concern
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1.Image source: (cropped)
Image author: Juan Tassara | Licence: Public domain as on 1/15/19
2.Image source:,_central_Chile.jpg (cropped)
Image author: Dick Culbert | Licence: CC BY 2.0 as on 1/15/19
3.Image source: (cropped)
Image author: Valentina Requesens | Licence: CC BY 2.0 1/15/19
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