The Carduelis Flammea, Know Everything You Didn’t Know About This Bird

The Sizerin Linnet is scientifically known by the name of Carduelis Flammea, this is one of the birds belonging to the family of songbirds, is a great migrant belonging to the finch family. In the following article we will know more about this bird.

The Carduelis Flammea

The bird known as the Sizerin Linnet ( Carduelis Flammea ) is a species of bird belonging to the Finch family. It breeds somewhat farther south than the Arctic Sizerin, also in scrubby or shrubby habitats.


The Sizerin’s Linnet ( Carduelis flammea ) was listed in 1758 by the famous zoologist Linnaeus in the 10th edition of his Systema Naturae under the binomial name Fringilla flammea. The present name of the genus Acanthis is derived from the ancient Greek akanthis, a name for a small bird now unidentifiable, and the word flammea is in the Latin language meaning “flame-colored”.

The Sizerin Linnet was previously placed in the genus Carduelis. Molecular phylogenetic studies by different experts showed that the Arctic and Sizerin Linnets formed a very distinct lineage, so the 2 species were grouped together in the resurrected genus Acanthis.


The Sizerin Linnet ( Carduelis Flammea ) is a small brownish-gray finch with dark stripes and a bright red patch on the forehead. It has a sort of black bib and 2 pale stripes on the wings. Males often have breasts covered in red. This is smaller, also browner and somewhat striated than the Arctic Sizerin Linnet which are generally similar, adults tend to be between 11.5 and 14 cm long and usually weigh between 12 and 16 grams.

The rump of this bird is streaked and there is a broad dark brown streak across the vent. The legs are brown, the bill is yellowish with a dark tip and the iris is dark brown.

The Color Pattern

Sizerins are brown and also white birds with heavily striped sides. They have a small red forehead patch, a black down around a yellow bill and 2 side bars that are white. Males have a pale red vest on the breast and upper flanks.

Size Shape

Sizerins ( Carduelis Flammea ) are small sized Songbirds with a small head and small pointed beads that feed on seeds. The tail is short with a small notch at the tip of the tail.


The nominate subspecies A. f. flammea, the Flammean Sizerin Linnet, breeds in northern parts of North America and Eurasia. There is also an Icelandic subspecies, the Icelandic Sizerin Linnet ( A. f. Islandica ) and 1 that breeds in the Greenland and Baffin Island regions called the Greenland Sizerin Linnet ( A. f. Rostrata ).

Many taxonomic authorities have considered the Lesser Sizerin Linnet to be a subspecific form of the Sizerin Linnet ( Carduelis Flammea ). Together, the Icelandic and Greenlandic forms are sometimes referred to as the “Northwest Sizerin Linnet”. All species of this bird migrate south into Canada, north to the United States or as far as Eurasia.

These birds are remarkably hardy to cold temperatures and winter season movements are primarily driven by food availability. There are 2 distinct populations


  • It is the lighter population
  • The other population is darker


They are united in islandica, whose relationships are not resolved.

The Carduelis Flammea Cabaret

The Sizerin Linnet, scientifically named Acanthis cabaret, is a small bird belonging to the passerine genus of the finch family, the Fringillidae. It is the smallest, darkest and most streaked of the Sizerin finches. It is sometimes classified as a subspecies of the Sizerin Linnet ( Carduelis Flammea ), but the British Ornithologists’ Union has recently separated it from that species.

The Carduelis Flammea Rostrata

This subspecies is relatively poorly known, nesting on Baffin Island and Greenland and wintering irregularly southward to the northeastern U.S. The literature on the identification of this subspecies characterizes it as a consistently large, dark-colored bird.

Similar species

The Floury Sizerin is larger and paler in color than the Lesser Sizerin with which it has often been mixed, apparently without significant interbreeding, although sympatry has been established too recently to draw firm conclusions. Male Floury Sizerins are darker than similarly sized Arctic Sizerins, but females are nearly identical.

The Behavior

The range of the Sardinian Linnet ( Carduelis Flammea ) extends from northern Europe and Asia to northern North America, Greenland and Iceland. It is a partial migrant, moving south in late autumn and north again in March and April.

Its typical habitat is the boreal forest of pines, firs and larches.This bird feeds mainly on seeds, mainly birch and alder in the winter seasons.


Sizerins breed worldwide in the northernmost latitudes, in the open forests of the alder and alder forests:

At an altitude of up to 5,000 feet. In the essentially treeless tundra they find hollows and shelters where deciduous shrubs or conifers can gain a foothold. They also live in cities. Most people can see them in winter, when Sizerin’s Linnet ( Carduelis Flammea ) move south.

In their winter range, which can be extremely variable as the birds seek unpredictable food sources, Sizerin’s Linnets occur in open woodlands, scrubby and brushy fields, and backyard feeders.


Carduelis Flammea eat mainly small seeds, typically from trees such as birch, willow, alder, spruce and pine, but also from grasses, sedges and wildflowers such as buttercups and mustards, and occasional berries. During the summer they also eat considerable amounts of spiders and insects. The winter diet is mainly of birch and alder seeds or, on feeders, with millet and thistle or nyjer.

The Nest

Females do most of the searching for nesting sites. They place their nests on thin horizontal branches or crotches in spruce, alder, and willow trees. Nests tend to be found close to the ground or, in the tundra, placed on driftwood, rock ledges, or other low ground cover.

Nest Description

The female builds the nest on a base of small twigs placed on thin branches. She makes the nest of grasses, thin twigs, roots and tree moss. She lines the nest with a thick layer of:

The finished nest is up to 4 inches wide with a nest cup approximately 2.5 inches in diameter and 2 inches deep. Sizerin Linnets may go so far as to take material from old nests to make new ones, but they do not normally reuse old nests.


The Sizerin’s Linnet ( Carduelis Flammea ) are numerous. Partners in Flight estimates a worldwide breeding population of 160 million, with 17 % spending part of the year in regions of Canada and 22 % wintering in the U.S. It rates a 7 out of 20 on the Continental Concern Score and are not on the 2014 Bird Status Watch List .

These birds breed in the far north, away from large numbers of humans and many of their environmental impacts. When they come south to visit more densely populated areas, they may succumb to salmonella infections at feeders.

Species Facts

  • During the winter, some of the Sizerin’s Linnet ( Carduelis Flammea ) tend to tunnel in the snow to keep warm at night. Tunnels can reach more than a foot long and 4 inches under the insulating snow.


  • The next time a person has access to a globe, they should take a look at it from the top. Siskins ( Carduelis Flammea ) breed worldwide in the lands surrounding the Arctic Ocean. There is a lot of land up there. Although many of us struggle to see a few Siskins each winter, worldwide their numbers are estimated in the tens of millions.
  • The oldest known Sizerin Linnet ( Carduelis Flammea ) was at least 7 years, 10 months old. It lived in the Alaskan regions and was injured when it was caught by a domestic cat. Fortunately, he survived his injuries which were inflicted by the feline.


Rate this post