Smithsonian Red Siskin colony: The new SCBI flock is thriving
and we expect to start hatching chicks this spring! We are
lining up interns to assist researchers with data collection on
nutrition, vocalization, and breeding behaviors.
Red Siskin Conservation Center: RUHL WALKER Architects
have produced a spectacular conceptual design for the
conservation breeding and education facility planned for
Bararida Zoo-VE. This is a major step forward for the RSI
Conceptual design for Red
Siskin Conservation Breeding
and Education Center (RSCC)
at Bararida Zoo in Barquisimeto
Venezuela. This elegant yet
economical facility will be the
main site for breeding siskins for
reintroduction and the central
feature of Bararida’s conservation
education and training programs.
Architectural services have been
generously donated by Ruhl
Guyana: South Rupununi Conservation Society field research
resumes. Rangers are banding birds, studying movement
patterns, and collecting blood samples for genetic research
with support from the Mohamed Bin Zayed Foundation.
Searching for siskins in Puerto Rico: In December, Jack
Eitniear, Center for the Study for Tropical Birds, Mike Braun
and Brian Coyle, SI-NMNH, along with Sergio Colon and several
other members of the Sociedad Ornitológica Puertorriqueña
(SOPI) will launch a months-long search for Red Siskins on the
Caribbean island, where they were last officially documented
Broadening the mission in Venezuela: The international
network built and fostered by the RSI has been contributing
to conservation efforts of other species and ecosystems.
With support from the William Belton Fund, we are looking
for “Lost Birds” in Venezuela in partnership with American
Bird Conservancy. Stay tuned for upcoming news about this
New Equipment: We are very grateful for the donation of a
new camera, audio recording equipment and truck parts from
Idea Wild. These will support years of future field research in
Venezuela including proposed 2017 work on trapping activity,
potential threats from other native species, and Bird Friendly
Conservation Genomics: SI researchers Paul Frandsen,
Rebecca Dikow and HC Lim are leading research on siskin
phylogeography and diversity as well as comparing siskin and
canary genome sequence to develop an assay for ancestral
Understanding Red Siskin
History: Jesus Maldonado,
SCBI, and Brian Coyle, NMNH,
are leading the analysis of
DNA sequence recovered
from 19th and 20th museum
specimens to compare
historic to modern population
structure of Red Siskins.
Smithsonian National Zoo Red Siskin Website: The RSI
now has an official web page on the National Zoo website.
The Atlantic magazine: Read Ed Yong’s great article about
the history of the Red Siskin and RSI recovery efforts.
Finch Breeders Review: The Finch Society of Australia
featured the RSI in a recent issue of their club journal.
Aviary Life Magazine: Another important media partner in
Australia, Aviary Life, has also been helping to support the
RSI, including a recent update on project news.