Crown of the head, and throat, black: nape dusky green: above and behind the eye a broad yellow streak.
F. Spinus, Temm. Man. d'Orn. torn. I. p. 371. Siskin, Mont. Orn. Diet. & Supp. Selb. Illust. vol. I. p. 309. pl. 55. f. 6, 7. Bew. Brit. Birds, vol. I. p. 194.
Entire length four inches seven lines: length of the bill (from the forehead) four lines and a half, (from the gape) five lines and a half; of the tarsus six lines and a half; of the tail one inch nine lines; from the carpus to the end of the wing two inches nine lines.
(Male). Throat, crown, and occiput, deep black: nape variegated with dusky and greenish yellow: above and rather behind the eye a broad streak of sulphur-yellow: neck, breast, and belly, yellow: back, scapulars, and lesser wing-coverts, yellowish green, inclining to ash-gray, with a longitudinal dusky spot in the centre of each feather: greater coverts black, tipped with yellow: quills dusky with yellow edges: tail dusky, all the feathers except the two middle ones with a large yellow spot near the base extending over both webs: sides and lower part of the abdomen whitish, with longitudinal dusky streaks: bill whitish, the tip black: feet pale brown. (Female). All the upper parts, cheeks, and sides of the neck, cinereous, with longitudinal dusky spots: under parts yellowish white; breast, flanks, and under tail-coverts, with dusky green streaks: the transverse bars on the wings, and the yellow edging of the quills, paler than in the other sex. (Egg). Pale bluish white, spotted with purple brown.
A winter visitant, but not making its appearance regularly. Occasionally observed in large flocks in Cambridgeshire about the commencement of the new year, during its stay in which parts, it appears to feed almost entirely on the seeds of the alder. Is known also in Norfolk, Suffolk, Sussex, Middlesex, and Northumberland. Breeds in the North of Europe, and is said to build in the highest branches of the pine. Lays five eggs.