Chrysomitris spinus, (Linn.) Syst. Nat. i. p. 322 (1766) ; (Naum.) v. p. 155, Taf. 125 ; (Hewitson), i. p. 198, pl. 1. fig. 2 ; (Gould), B. of E. iii. pl. 197 ; id. B. of Gt. Brit. iii. pl. 37 ; (Newton), ii. p. 126 ; Dresser, iii. p. 541, pl. 169 ; Sharpe, Cat. B. Br. Mus. xii. p. 212 ; Saunders, p. 175 ; (Lilford), iv. p. 55, pl. 27.
Tarin, French ; Lugne, Portug. ; Lugano, Span. ; Lucarino, Ital. ; Zeisig, German ; Sijsje, Dutch ; Gronsidsken, Dan. ; Sisik, Norw. ; Gronsiska, Swed. ; Viheriavarpunen, Finn. ; Tschij, Russ.
Male ad. (Scotland). Upper parts dull yellowish green streaked with blackish brown ; upper tail-coverts yellow except those nearest the tail which are greenish ; crown, chin, and lores black ; wings black, the quills margined and the wing-coverts tipped with yellow ; tail-feathers yellow at the base and on the inner webs, the middle pair nearly all black, all the rest black towards the tips ; sides of the head, supercilium, throat, and breast yellow ; rest of the under parts dull white, streaked with blackish, the lower breast washed with yellow, the flanks with grey ; bill dark brown, pale fleshy at the base ; legs dull brown ; iris dark brown. Culmen 0.45, wing 2.8, tail 1.85, tarsus 0.5 inch. The female is duller in colour, the black on the crown and throat are wanting.
Hab. Europe, as far north as, but rare in, southern Lapland ; Asia as far east as Japan, ranging south through Manchuria to China, but not so far as India ; of somewhat rare occurrence in N.W. Africa in winter.
Frequents woods, chiefly those of conifers, and affects hilly localities. In its habits it is sprightly and lively but not shy. In winter it frequents groves, gardens, and fields, and is then seen in large flocks. Its food consists of seeds, especially those of conifers, and of various weeds, but the young when in the nest are fed with insects. Its call-note is a loud deedel, or deedlee, and its song, a succession of twittering notes, though not loud, is fairly melodious. It breeds from April to June, placing its nest on a conifer tree, often at a considerable altitude, but sometimes on a bush, always well concealed. The nest is neat, cup-shaped, constructed of grass-bents, fine twigs, rootlets, and moss, carefully lined with plant-cotton, and occasionally a few feathers. The eggs 4 to 5, sometimes 6 in number, are pale sea-green spotted with pale red, the markings being usually more profuse at the larger end, and in size average about 0.68 by 0.48.
407. Ohrysomitris spinus