BIRD OF THE WEEK — YELLOW-FACED SISKIN — PLANET EARTH BIRD WORLD group

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SCIENTIFIC NAME: Spinus yarrellii
POPULATION: 6,000-15,000
TREND: Declining
HABITAT: Non-migratory; occurs in mountains, forests, shrublands, and urban areas

The Yellow-faced Siskin was initially described as a Californian species, since the first male type specimen was a captive bird in that state. But this bright yellow finch, which closely resembles the more familiar American Goldfinch, is actually native to South America.

Like the Banded Cotinga and Lear’s Macaw, the attractive Yellow-faced Siskin is highly sought-after as a cage bird. Widespread illegal trapping has led to its steep and rapid decline, leading to a Vulnerable classification on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

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