Belongs to: finches & buntings

Linnet Carduelis cannabina

BoCC Red list

Best time to see: all year

Key facts

Small finch with persistent twittering song

Habitat: any place with plenty of low bushes for nest sites and with a source of seeds nearby

Widespread resident, but declining


Grey head and brown back; male with red forehead and breast in summer; 13–14 cm

Sings from song-posts or as it flies; in winter often form large feeding flocks 

Feeds mainly on weed seeds, forming feeding flocks in winter; some insects fed to young


Nest is a cup of grass or moss lined with hair and wool, in a bush usually near the ground

2, sometimes 3, broods April to June; 4–6 pale blue eggs, speckled reddish

© Alan Williams