Red siskin
Spinus cucullatus

Cardenalito de Venezuela


Those who come to achieve Red siskin it seems that are satisfied with the sole idea of ​​getting him the coveted F1 (hybrids of this beautiful exotic with female Canary), totally disregarding better information and knowledge of their particular biology.

The lack of information available on the Customs is very strange, food, reproduction and habitat of Red siskin.

"Ornithology and Canaricultura treaties only describes its colors", its properties to convey the color red to the Canary and well little more. Perhaps this is due to the fact that the more relatives to the life of this small fringílido, such as twitchers & dealers, They jealously guard for himself, the knowledge of their customs, avoiding, "competition". It comes to thinking this belief by aware illegal trade that exists in their country of origin.

"Due to the high demand for Cardenalitos", coming from all countries where the color Canaricultura is practiced, This bird has become the most coveted by stealthy casual and hunters merchants. In Caracas, as well as in La Guaira, his famous seaport, the trade of buying and selling of Red siskin constituted, until very recently, an authentic international business. Sailors and travelers came to pay exorbitant amounts for a Red siskin. The few who came alive to Europe listed to astronomical prices.

"It is not strange to think", because, that lack of scientific knowledge of its wildlife is the result of a tacit agreement between illegal hunters and traders. As you want it, This disregard for his life and customs brings, as a result, the early illness and death of most of the Red siskin who manage to reach Europe alive.

"On the other hand", This species is seriously threatened with extinction. This beautiful winged Ruby of the Venezuelan northern regions, It is already very sparsely found by have turned, inevitably, in one more victim of selfishness and the irrational whim of man. Fortunately, the measures taken by the Government, rigorously applying existing laws for the protection of Venezuelan fauna, they come to alleviate, as far as possible, the damage caused to this species. These laws are being strongly enforced today and trade, as flourishing in past years, This disappearing, with the natural joy of ornithologists and lovers of nature from around the world.


"This beautiful American gouldi measures of" 11 - 12 centimeters. It is known by various vernacular names, such as Tarín, in Argentina, Lúgano Rojo, in other South American countries, Cardenalillo, in Spain, Cardenalito, in Venezuela, etc. The scientific name is also varied and confusing: Spinus cucullatus, Carduelis cucullatus and Crhysomitris cucullatus. As we see it, ornithologists have not deepened much in his study and taxonomy: Some include him among the "Carduelis”, others among the "Spinus”, etc.

"All of this contributes negatively to authentic scientific knowledge of this beautiful tropical bird", so fundamental to the canaricultor of color. What we have no doubt about is that the Red siskin is closely related to a large group of American finches: the "Spinus”.


"The head", the neck and throat are black Jet, in the form of Hood; the back is dark red; the chest and the obispillo are red fire, beautiful; the tail, completely black. The wings are black, with a beautiful and wide strip of color orange through primary and secondary shirts. The legs and beak, dark brown. The eyes are amber.


"The female of the Red siskin has a head, the neck, the back and the flanks of ash grey streaks, with little red colouring on the chest and obispillo. The tail is black; the wings of the same color, taking the same strip Orange wing than the male.


"Inmaturos youth are identified perfectly by their uniform coloration from Brown grey". The colour of the wing band is barely noticeable in the early days of leave the nest. Similar to the adult female Saint, but without the black and red colours, being the shade of grey, duller.


"This beautiful gouldi is originally from the northern regions of Venezuela", characterized by mountain ranges, hills and Plains. This wide strip is characterized by its totally different weather stations each other: A , rainy and humid, comprising of April to U.k. and other dry, from November to March. The vegetation is itself the American Savannah, This is, shrubs, grasses and herbs of all kinds, with very little Grove. The average temperatures of this area vary significantly, Depending on the station wet or dry.

"Live the Red siskin in wandering flocks, on the plains of lower floors. It feeds on seeds, tender stems and small insects. It nests in the spring. The female lays three to five eggs, pure white, that incubates alone. The male brings food, providing a longer regurgitado. The nest is built in the shape of a cup, with abundant material dry grasses and hair. The female so carefully lined with feathers and other soft materials. To the 11-12 days of being incubated eggs, hatch chicks, covered with a fine low down. They are fed with insects, larvae and seed peeled and regurgitadas, by both parents. To the 15 days, they leave the nest. The female makes two to three released per year.

THE “Red siskin” IN CAPTIVITY.-

"The Red siskin easily gets used to life in captivity; It is committed and loving with whom care you and is not quarrelsome with other birds into your company. He is cheerful and very cantor. His singing resembles our serin (Serinus serinus). Is always on the move. Much like the green food, especially the lettuce. He is so loving the Whitehorn that if, by your tastes outside, It would only eat the seed and lettuce. Some consent to die than testing other grains. But the Whitehorn just becoming ill will. They must eat of this oilseed seed, but not in excess, because they resist not a diet continued on the basis of this food.

"It is necessary to make them also eat birdseed", millet, Turnip rape, Thistle and rapeseed seed, as well as some fruit and green food. Should they also be lettuce seeds, Blue poppy and some crushed cañamones. Should not be given egg pasta, as is done with the Canaries, because they end up becoming ill hepatitis and die soon.

"The hardest thing is its adaptation and acclimatization to our latitudes". Must acclimate them very slowly and to ensure that the temperature does not fall from the 10 degrees Celsius. It is a very chilly bird, immediately accusing the lack of heat. Once made the first move in the cage, already does not require special care.

"The clear evidence of its health is singing". Yes a Red siskin Canta, We can think of to raise with him with many chances of success. Is very hot in nature and if this strong and healthy, can attach you with two female perfetamente.

"But in this work we are not going to try their breeding and genetic qualities", Neither of its extraordinary influence on color canaricultura. This item, along with a profound study scientific-convenient for its reproduction in captivity with his own female, It will be developed, in detail, in a next job. We advance, However, that this ornithological event has taken place in Spain with Red siskin brought from Venezuela and adapted to our climate. This achievement has been achieved, "after long years of tests and trials by the author of this article".

by José Moreno Sánchez
Judge of the F.O.E. (Spain)

Via: settlers

Several trials have been conducted to estimate the number of wild individuals who survive today; However, Dear sayings are characterized by their inaccuracies and is not really known the current population. Estimates vary from a minimum of 600 until 800 birds across the country, of which are calculated each 350 - 500 individuals in the West, and other 300 in the central zone. Other estimates indicate that they currently survive around 4.000 Red siskin wild in total, of which approximately 2.500 they live in the States of Lara and Falcón. Captured birds figures support more the estimated second that the first. It is necessary to clarify that, While you can ensure that the figure is low, still lack information to estimate the population with accuracy. In any case, the current figures are lower than the previous ones and the majority of the populations referred to in the past are now extinct.

Source: Wilkipedia

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