Birds – The Common Linnet

Birds – The Common Linnet

The Common Linnet

The Common Linnet male

In this article we will see: “Birds – The Common Linnet”, birds, diverse and captivating, grace our skies with their melodies. From vibrant plumage to impressive flights, they captivate with endless wonders.

Birds – The Common Linnet

Brief Background of: The Common Linnet

Length: 13 cm; folded wing: 78 mm; wingspan: approximately 24 cm; tail: 53 mm; beak: 10 mm. Weight: 18 g.

Appearance and Behaviour

Male: Reddish front and breast; white belly; pale brown head and upperparts; black primaries and rectrices with white edges; dark-colored beak, eye, and legs.

Female: Similar to the male, except for a brownish front and breast speckled with brown.

With its small, plump beak, forked tail, and round head, the Common Linnet possesses all the characteristics of finches. At first glance, its plumage is as dull as that of a female sparrow. However, the male’s appearance brightens in spring when its breast and front turn pinkish-red. More modestly, the female retains her pale brown attire throughout the seasons.

The Common Linnet

The Common Linnet female

The Common Linnet's voice sample

Active and vocal, Common Linnets are not afraid to draw attention. In the company of a few fellow birds, they come and go, take off together, maneuver with undulating flight, and then land together. They enjoy perching prominently on the top of a bush and also spend a lot of time on the ground.

Open spaces, fallow lands, vineyards, and heaths that offer the necessary bushes for nesting are the preferred habitats for this species.

Although occasionally venturing near human settlements, Common Linnets generally avoid cities where finches and sparrows are more firmly established.

Food of: The Common Linnet

Common Linnets primarily feed on weed seeds, supplemented with insects in spring.


Observing Common Linnets and their simple interactions, the almost complete absence of rivalry among neighbors and within groups, it is not surprising to hear them express their good mood throughout the year. Their voice is clear and slightly tinkling, with an engaging song that includes warbles, trills, and resonant strophes, each time reinvented.

Whether in isolated pairs or loose groups, Common Linnets adapt to various situations. It is the female alone who carries the fine roots, twigs, and grass necessary for nest construction, which is lined with horsehair. The nest is placed in a bush or a dense young tree, often at a low height.

The first clutch, consisting of 4 to 6 eggs, takes place in early May. The eggs have a pale white background dotted with reddish-brown and black. Average size: 13 x 18 mm; weight: 1.5 g.

The Common Linnet's eggs

The Common Linnet’s eggs

The female takes care of the 12 days of incubation, and then both adults participate in rearing the young. The juveniles leave the nest at 13 days old but remain with their parents for another 2 weeks.

A second clutch is observed in June or early July.


Common Linnets are migratory in the east and northern regions, while they can be erratic or sedentary in Mediterranean regions, with the more adventurous ones reaching North Africa.


The Common Linnet breeds across Europe, from southern Spain to the Baltic Sea. In the south, the breeding range extends to North Africa, and in the east, it reaches the Siberian plains.

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A final word

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