Red Siskin Diet Formulae

Naturally for Birds Information Update: 9                         RED SISKIN DIET FORMULAE                                                  Mike Fidler, NSW

Following an intense couple of years testing different diet components for the Red Siskin the following approach is suggested as a simple, but effective diet for successful breeding of this great cup nester. While the Red Siskin is quite conservative in terms of diet it is possible over time to expand the range of foods they will try. They need a diet high in oil seeds, but with a range of other seeds, plenty of greens and for breeding a sprouted seed blend. All these elements are outlined below.


There are three basic seed mixes – a Black Mix, White Mix and a Sprouting Mix.
BLACK MIX – 50% NIGER and 50% RAPE, and a WHITE MIX – 50% COCKSFOOT and 50% CANARY.

These two seed mixes are available all the time but fed separately to avoid waste – Red Siskins are inveterate “flickers” and can waste a lot if you’re not careful.

SPROUTING SEED MIX is simple and consists of:  50% BLACK MIX and 50% WHITE MIX

This mix is sprouted in batches as per the seed sprouting technique under Tutorials on the Naturally for Birds Website.

BREEDING SUPPLEMENT – fed during the breeding season

  • 5.5 parts SPROUTING MIX – freshly sprouted. To this add:
  • 1 part MAW
  • 1 part CHIA   
  • 1 part crushed SUNFLOWER KERNELS (MaxiCoat from Omega Feeds)
  • 1 part Naturally for Birds PRIMA
  • 0.5 part Naturally for Birds MICRONUTRIENTS


BOK CHOI, PAK CHOI, SPINACH, CHICKWEED or any of the Asian leafy green plants. Green leafy plants are a major part of the Red Siskin diet. They also enjoy any of the seeding grasses, thistles in flower, small sunflower heads and other flower heads.


Bush fly maggots and other small insects are eaten regularly in small quantities.

NFB FITGRIT and NFB ACTIVATED CHARCOAL should be provided ad lib

The NFB supplements are recommended as they are proven products, based on scientifically as- certained wild bird diets – AND – all the profits go to SAVE THE GOULDIAN FUND. STGF funds research projects, many of which have benefited avicultural knowledge.

See our Website – – for much more information about our supplements.

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