Eurasian linnet

Eurasian linnet
Carduelis cannabina
Photo by Anne van der  Wal (Flickr)

Common name:
Eurasian linnet (en); pintarroxo-comum (pt); linotte mélodieuse (fr); pardillo común (es); bluthänfling (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Fringillidae

These birds are found throughout most of Europe, in North Africa, and into Asia as far as western Siberia, western China and northern Afghanistan.

Eurasian linnets are 13-14 cm long and have a wingspan of 23 cm. They weigh 15-20 g.

They are mostly associated with farmland areas, but occur in weedy fields, hedgerows, orchards, heathland, scrubland, grassland, saltmarshes, gardens and parks.

They mostly eat the seeds of various herbs and trees, including polygonums, crucifers, chickweeds, dandelions, thistle, sow-thistle, mayweed, common groundsel, common hawthorn and birch. They also eat small insects, especially aphids.

Eurasian linnets are monogamous. They breed in April-June and both sexes build the nest, a thick cup made of dry grass , weed stems and moss, lined with animal hair , wool or fine roots. The nest is placed in a dense hedge, scrub or thorny tree. There the female lays 4-7 white or bluish-green eggs with red-brown spots. The female incubates the eggs alone for 11-13 days while being fed by the male. The chicks are fed by the female, but the male is responsible for collecting the food. They fledge 12-14 days after hatching, but only become fully independent 2 weeks later.

IUCN status – LC (Least concern)
This species has an extremely large breeding range and a global population estimated at 40-150 million individuals. Populations in Europe have undergone a moderate decline over the last 3 decades, but the species is not threatened at present.

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