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Common Linnet
Carduelis cannabina

Linnets are a reasonably common finch, occurring across most of the UK (migratory in parts of Scotland), Europe, North Africa and parts of western Asia, such as Iran. They are seed-eaters and their name arises from their liking for flax seeds (the plant from which linen comes from) and part of the scientific name comes from hemp seeds, which are another popular diet item. They are fairly small at 13-14 cm in length and often occur in flocks. The males in breeding plumage have red breasts and foreheads with brown backs and buff underparts, while the females and juveniles are brown above and cream or off-white below. As with many finches, they have an attractive song and are sometimes kept as cage birds, although not as commonly as in the past.

Common Linnet

1: Burton Bradstock, Dorset, 03/08/2013.