The AFA Red Siskin Recovery Project


The Red Siskin Recovery Project has long been a focal point of the AFA's Conservation mission.

A Project Committee Begins

Responsibilities will be distributed among the Core Committee members. Darrel Styles will serve as veterinary and scientific counsel.

Core Committee Members • Paula Hansen,

Chair the Core Committee. • Dr. Orland Baker,

RSP Studbook keeper • Ron Castaner,

RSP Breeder

We need at least five other experts on this committee. Other members who are waiting to receive their Siskins, already have Siskins, or just want to be involved are encouraged to step forward and be recognized.

If you haven't received a personal email from Paula Hansen please consider this your request contact her directly now. She is looking for those who have specific areas of expertise with Siskins, sponsorship, and newsletter experience. Also, those who have been waiting to receive Siskins for the first time. You are encouraged to support the Core Committee by sharing your ideas in the development of moving the project forward. Any breeders out there holding birds and wishing to move them contact: Paula Hansen.


The project is lacking a healthy financial base. In order to move our Siskins we must develop some creative fund-raisers to offset future shipping charges. The Siskin Project needs a financial boost. Funding will specifically support moving birds to waiting breeders through cargo, purchase of containers, and printing and mailing the Siskin News, the official publication of the Siskin Project.

Those who know of companies wishing to place ads in lieu of support, please contact Paula Hansen.

Depending on how many of you volunteer determines how the Project will move forward. Everyone is welcome to become involved. Lets join together to move the project forward again.


Communication will be a big focus. The Siskin News and the Siskin Yahoo group will help greatly. The Yahoo group presently has 27 members. Tony Sbadatino is taking the lead. You can join at no cost by searching Yahoo and requesting to join:

When you visit this group you will be welcomed and introduced. Post your concerns and questions. This is not an APA group but a Siskin group. You will be addressing a larger audience and can learn from the experienced and learn with others.

AFA Website

Information will be developed to reflect the progress of the APA Siskin Breeders. The website volunteers will be in charge of posting submitted infor-

mation from the Projects Board. Information such as recruitment of new breeders, new hatchlings, deaths, and breeder recognition.

Breeder's Agreement

AFA 's legal counsel, Mr. Ring, will be asked to review documents for establishing a new "Agreement" formatted for joining and participating within the Project.

New RSRP Mission

• To create a sustaining captive healthy population of red Siskins within the US;

• Support conservation efforts and scientific studies in the wild.

Consortium Structure

The Project will exist more as a consortium of breeders operating independently within a set and structured framework - a fresh new way of working the Siskin Project. This structure will be developed by the Core Committee and finalized by AFA Board members.

Genetic Management

• Revising and updating the SPARKS studbook;

• Facilitating small population management program;

• networking breeders within the Project for genetic exchange(s).

Education Through Articles

Sharing knowledge of the species and conservation efforts such the Siskin News or Siskin Yahoo group. AFA will set aside a section within the AFA Watchbird quarterly magazine for a Quarterly Update. Through the help of Dr. Benny Gallaway, AFA President, this update will include new breeders, annual studbook census of adult birds,

new hatchlings, deaths, and breeder recognition.

Siskin Breeding Hints

1) Soaked seed: Any kind of oily seed can get rancid when wet and warm. Refrigerate your soaked mixes and only prepare 2-3 days worth at a time. Some freeze, pre-soaked seed for use later. This does not hurt the seed or the supplements you add in the mixture. It is vital to these birds to receive a higher percentage of oil seed in the Siskin mix. If you use soaked seed during breeding season or for young to learn to open seed, then do not put the sunflower chips in it, especially during warm weather. It only quickly spoils the mix. Gravity feeders for dry seed can be used in a cage environment. Do not place millet spray pieces in gravity feeders as they have a tendency to clog the flow of seed.

2) Sprouted millet: Pre-breeding season (January/February) Siskins seem to just tear it apart if not sprouted. Nonbreeding season (June to December) Siskins will dine on it. Millet is not necessary but a good addition to the diet.

3) Fresh vegetables & fruit: Romaine lettuce, broccoli, apple (sweet apple variety), a few times a week all year long. Most prefer golden and red delicious apples. They may eat spinach , this breeder notes her flock wont touch it but will nibble on zucchini. NOTE:

They like their fruit and vegetables clipped to the cage not lying on the floor. Use clothespins - cheap and easy.

4) Egg food: Mashed egg food from start to finish of breeding season whether they take it or not. Mother will usually use eggfood to feed your chicks from day one through day eight.

5) Canary wicker/plastic nests. They like them deep not shallow. I use 4' burlap strips and thin cotton string. No snagging happens. Nest liners are not necessary. The liners are pulled out of the nest even when sewn onto the wicker.