Zoos allies support the Red Siskin
01 Jun

Zoos allies support the Red Siskin

As part of the second objective of the Red Siskin Conservation Strategy: “Rescuing, raising and reintroducing more Red Siskins,” we have been building alliances with zoological institutions around the world. We are thrilled that the following institutions have recently added Red Siskin flocks to their collections:

  • Zoo Miami hatched their first clutch of Red siskin chicks! The two chicks hatched on May 3rd. Photo: Zoo Miami’s first Red Siskin chicks, at 10 days.

Photo: Zoo Miami’s first Red Siskin chicks, at 10 days.

  • The National Aviary fledged four chicks in their Breeding Center during spring 2020! Senior Aviculturist, Jennifer Smith says: “These females were first-time dams, but have been doing a tremendous job and have each raised two chicks.” Staff is starting to see more involvement from the sires as well, with more nest-building and chick-feeding activity.

Red Siskin fledglings. Photo: The National Aviary

  • The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI), which established a Red Siskin captive-bred flock in 2016 has fledged 6 chicks so far during this 2020 season. The flock started breeding this year in January, earlier than ever before! One of these chicks had to be hand-reared because its dam abandoned it the day before hatching. It needed feedings once per hour from 5:00 AM to 6:00 PM for a couple of weeks until it fledged. Bird staff continues to develop various methods for increasing breeding success, such as supplemental feeding in the nest, placing chicks with surrogates, and improving diets. 


We anticipate the addition of multiple new partners in 2020/21 and welcome interest from others. Any zoological institution interested in supporting the conservation of the Endangered Venezuelan Red Siskin is invited to join the RSI zoo network. Please contact Erica Royer at royere@si.edu for more information.

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