The hen is still more soberly attired; but it is perhaps the siskin's disposition to familiarity that makes it so favourite a captive, and, 'though as a cage-bird it is not ordinarily long-lived, it readily adapts itself to the loss of liberty.
The greater portion, however, of the numerous bands which visit the British Islands in autumn and winter doubtless come from the Continent - perhaps even from far to the eastward, since its range stretches across Asia to Japan, in which country it is as favourite a cage-bird as with us.
The species that has the widest range, and that by far, is the common Ring-necked Parakeet, Palaeornis torquatus, a well-known cage-bird which is found from the mouth of the Gambia across Africa to the coast of the Red Sea, as well as throughout the whole of India, Ceylon and Burmah to Tenasserim.
The varied plumage of the cock - his bright red breast and his grey back, set off by his coal-black head and quills - is naturally attractive; while the facility with which he is tamed, with his engaging disposition in confinement, makes him a popular cage-bird, - to say nothing of the fact (which in the opinion of so many adds to his charms) of his readily learning to "pipe" a tune, or some bars of one.
Its ready adaptation to confine ment has made it a popular cage-bird on both sides of the Atlantic. The hen is not so good a songster as the cock bird.