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24

Common Linnet

(Linaria cannabina)
Alternate name(s): "Eurasian Linnet"
German name(s): "Hänfling", "Bluthänfling"

Size: 12.5-14 cm; wing span 21-25.5 cm
Weight: 12-22 g
Description     Classification     Distribution     Sightings     Photos     Breeding     Nest     Eggs     Behaviour     Food     Call/s

Physical description

Click here for a physical description

Taxonomy, classification

See Common Linnet at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range

Sightings

Click here for sighting information

Photos

Race "cannabina"

ADULT

MALE

BREEDING

Frontal view of a Common Linnet (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Ostrow Mazowiecka, Masovia, Poland, July 2016]

Frontal view of a Common Linnet (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Ostrow Mazowiecka, Masovia, Poland, July 2016]

Frontal view of a male Common Linnet in spring (photo courtesy of H. Dahlem-Senger)
[Eltville, Hessen, Germany, April 2017]

Near-frontal view of a male Common Linnet in spring (photo courtesy of H. Dahlem-Senger)
[Eltville, Hessen, Germany, April 2017]

Lateral view of a male Common Linnet (photo courtesy of H. Dahlem-Senger)
[Eltville, Hessen, Germany, April 2016]

Dorsal view of a male Common Linnet (photo courtesy of H. Dahlem-Senger)
[Eltville, Hessen, Germany, April 2016]

Male Common Linnet, right, in comparison with a male European Serin; note that the Common Linnet, although small, is a bit bigger than the European Serin (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Ostrow Mazowiecka, Masovia, Poland, July 2016]

This male Common Linnet, left, is dwarfed by the male Common Blackbird (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Ostrow Mazowiecka, Masovia, Poland, July 2016]

Moulting male Common Linnet, either moulting from juvenile to adult plumage or from non-breeding to breeding plumage (photo courtesy of M. Thomas)
[Eltville, Hessen, Germany, April 2014]

FEMALE

Pair of Common Linnets - male above, female below (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Ostrow Mazowiecka, Masovia, Poland, July 2016]

Frontal view of a female Common Linnet (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Ostrow Mazowiecka, Masovia, Poland, July 2016]

Female Common Linnet looking down from a roof top (photos courtesy of H. Dahlem-Senger)
[Eltville, Hessen, Germany, May 2018]

Near-dorsal view of a female Common Linnet (photo courtesy of H. Dahlem-Senger)
[Eltville, Hessen, Germany, April 2017]

IMMATURE/JUVENILE

Near-lateral view of a fledgling Common Linnet; note the bolder pattern on the cheeks compared to a female, the pale-grey lower mandible of the bill and the copious streaking on the front (photo courtesy of H. Dahlem-Senger)
[Eltville, Hessen, Germany, May 2017]

Lateral view of a fledgling Common Linnet (photo courtesy of H. Dahlem-Senger)
[Eltville, Hessen, Germany, May 2017]

Race "mediterranea"

ADULT

MALE

BREEDING

Frontal view of a male Common Linnet in breeding plumage (photo courtesy of G. Pinelas)
[Cascais, Lisbon, Portugal, February 2017]

Near-frontal view of a male Common Linnet in breeding plumage (photo courtesy of G. Pinelas)
[Cascais, Lisbon, Portugal, February 2017]

Near-frontal view of a male Common Linnet in partial breeding plumage (photo courtesy of J. Pires )
[Tejo estuary, Portugal, July 2018]

Near-lateral view of a male Common Linnet in breeding plumage (photo courtesy of G. Pinelas)
[Cascais, Lisbon, Portugal, February 2017]

Near-lateral view of a male Common Linnet in breeding plumage (photo courtesy of J. Pires )
[Mora, Evora, Portugal, April 2017]

Lateral view of a male Common Linnet in breeding plumage collecting material for lining its nest (photo courtesy of J. Pires )
[Cabo Raso, Cascais, Lisbon, Portugal, April 2018]

Lateral view of a male Common Linnet in worn breeding plumage, with, for comparison, an European Goldfinch
(photo courtesy of J. Pires )
[Mora, Evora, Portugal, April 2017]

Near-dorsal view of a male Common Linnet moulting into breeding plumage (photo courtesy of J. Pires )
[Mora, Evora, Portugal, January 2014]

Common Linnets, including males in full breeding plumage preening collectively (photo courtesy of J. Pires )
[Mora, Evora, Portugal, July 2014]

NON-BREEDING

Near-dorsal view of a male Common Linnet in non-breeding plumage (photo courtesy of J. Pires )
[Mora, Evora, Portugal, December 2014]

FEMALE

Frontal view of a female Common Linnet (photo courtesy of J. Pires )
[Mora, Evora, Portugal, December 2013]

Near-frontal view of a female Common Linnet (photo courtesy of G. Pinelas)
[Cascais, Lisbon, Portugal, February 2017]

Near-lateral view of a female Common Linnet (photo courtesy of G. Pinelas)
[Cascais, Lisbon, Portugal, February 2017]

Lateral view of a female Common Linnet (photo courtesy of G. Pinelas)
[Cascais, Lisbon, Portugal, February 2017]

Near-dorsal view of a female Common Linnet (photo courtesy of J. Pires )
[Coruche, Santarem, Portugal, April 2017]

Dorsal view of a female Common Linnet (photo courtesy of J. Pires )
[Coruche, Santarem, Portugal, April 2017]

Clan of Common Linnets in a dormant tree (photo courtesy of G. Pinelas)
[Cascais, Lisbon, Portugal, February 2017]

IMMATURE/JUVENILE

Lateral view of a juvenile(?) Common Linnet (photo courtesy of J. Pires )
[Mora, Evora, Portugal, December 2013]

Near-dorsal view of a juvenile(?) Common Linnet (photo courtesy of J. Pires )
[Mora, Evora, Portugal, November 2018]

Breeding information

Breeding season: Apr - Aug? Eggs: 4 - 7 Incubation period: 10 - 14 days Fledging age: 11 - 17 days

Common Linnets can have more than one clutch per year. The values listed in the table above for the incubation period and fledging age are reproduced from an unverified online resource. Both periods may depend on climatic/weather/geographic conditions. In the case presented here, the development of the chicks must have been at the lower limit of those ranges. 3 eggs were found in the nest on 29 April 2017 and the first fledgling was observed on 17 May 2017. Assuming that one egg is laid per day, this leaves 21 days for the first chick from egg-laying to fledging. These would most likely correspond to 10 days of incubation and 11 days from hatching to fledging.

Nest building: Female Incubation: Female Dependent care: Female & male

Nest

"bungobittah", "malunna" = nest [Aboriginal]

Type: Basket Material: Grass stems, grass fibre, wool, rootlets Height above ground: 1 - 5? m

Common Linnet nest in a dense shrub (photo courtesy of H. Dahlem-Senger)
[Eltville, Hessen, Germany, April 2017]

Dense ornamental shrub chosen by a pair of Common Linnets for nesting, right next to human traffic
(photo courtesy of H. Dahlem-Senger)
[Eltville, Hessen, Germany, April 2017]

Female Common Linnet collecting nesting material (photo courtesy of H. Dahlem-Senger)
[Eltville, Hessen, Germany, April 2017]

Female Common Linnet collecting nesting material (photo courtesy of H. Dahlem-Senger)
[Eltville, Hessen, Germany, April 2017]

Pair of Common Linnets observing their nest on the day before the first chick fledged (photo courtesy of H. Dahlem-Senger)
[Eltville, Hessen, Germany, May 2017]

Pair of Common Linnets observing their nest on the day before the first chick fledged
(photo courtesy of H. Dahlem-Senger)
[Eltville, Hessen, Germany, May 2017]

Female Common Linnet collecting nesting material (photo courtesy of H. Dahlem-Senger)
[Naturschutzgebiet Wallnau/Fehmarn, Fehmarn, Germany, June 2018]

This prickly rose bush is where a pair of Common Linnets built their nest (photo courtesy of H. Dahlem-Senger)
[Naturschutzgebiet Wallnau/Fehmarn, Fehmarn, Germany, June 2018]

Eggs

"boyanga", "booyanga", "derinya", "dirandil", "koomura", "ngampu", "nooluk", "pateena" = Egg; "dirundirri" = eggs [Aboriginal]; "gawu" = eggs [gamilaraay]

Size: 18 x 13 mm Colour: White to pale-turquoise, with rust-brown speckles Shape: Tapered oval

Common Linnet nest with 3 eggs in it (photo courtesy of H. Dahlem-Senger)
[Eltville, Hessen, Germany, April 2017]

Behaviour

Common Linnets adapt very well to the proximity of humans and will nest in people's gardens.

Common Linnets having a bath (photo courtesy of J. Pires )
[Mora, Evora, Portugal, February 2016]

Food, Diet

Common Linnets feed on seeds, e.g grass seeds.

Note that cardueline finches (i.e. European Goldfinch, European Greenfinch, Eurasian Siskin and their close relatives) feed their young primarily regurgitated seeds, while fringilline finches (all others) feed their young primarily invertebrates.

Common Linnets feeding on seeds (photo courtesy of J. Pires )
[Mora, Evora, Portugal, February 2015]

Common Linnets having a drink (photo courtesy of J. Pires )
[Montargil, Alentejo, Portugal, October 2018]

Call(s)/Song

For this species we have recorded the following call(s)/song. The interpretation of their meaning is our own; comments and suggestions for improvement are welcome.

linnet_hds_20170422.mp3 cannabina
(Germany)
Territorial calls (male) © HDS
linnet_dw_20160728.m4a cannabina
(Poland)
Territorial calls (male) © DW
linnet_dw_20160529.m4a cannabina
(Poland)
Territorial calls (male) © DW
linnet_dw_20160613.m4a cannabina
(Poland)
Various © DW

These pages are largely based on our own observations and those of our contributors. The structure of these bird pages is explained HERE. For more salient facts on any bird species please refer to a field guide.

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