Spinus thibetanus (Serinus thibetanus)
Geographical distribution and habitat
The Tibetan Siskin is found in Bhutan, certain provinces of China (including Tibet), India, and Nepal. During winter periods also in the north of Myanmar (Burma). Throughout the year, when they are not in breeding period, these birds these birds gather in large groups and are seen in alder and birch trees. This diet from alder, birch and conifer seed is determined based on some limited observations. The birds were observed in pairs at the end of April and it is assumed that this is the beginning of the breeding period in their habitat. Their behaviour, the way that they search for food and their physique, including the beak, seem to have a lot in common with the European Siskin (Carduelis spinus).
Size: 11-12 cm (4.7-5.1 inch)
Description and subspecies
According to available documentation and photographs, the male of Spinus thibetanus is yellowish-green on the head and on the belly, without a black cap like we know from our European Siskins. Females, as described, would show striking similarity with the females of the European Siskin. There are no subspecies; available photos show striking color differences that may also be a result from the season, region of origin and the resting or splendor feathers of these birds.
We know, in the past Spinus thibetanus has been imported in Europe in small numbers as aviary birds. Whether this bird species is still kept and bred in aviculture is unknown. This bird has no relationship to the Himalayan greenfinch (Carduelis spinoides, / Chloris spinoides)