One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A mainly brown and grey finch with a reddish breast and forehead.
Genus Acanthis, family Fringillidae: three species, in particular the Eurasian A. cannabina
- ‘The farm itself has good numbers of breeding birds and is home to yellowhammers, linnets, corn buntings, tree and hedge sparrows, along with lapwings and grey partridge.’
- ‘Dried redshank seeds were eaten by the sparrows, and linnets.’
- ‘And he found a number of bird species, such as the corn bunting, tree sparrow, grey partridge, skylark, linnet and yellow wagtail, which have been seriously declining since the growth of intensive agriculture.’
- ‘In another area, he sows seeds to attract birds like linnets, reed buntings and bramblings.’
- ‘The Red List also features a disturbingly high number of formerly common farmland birds which are rapidly declining: tree sparrow, grey partridge, spotted flycatcher, song thrush, skylark, linnet and turtle dove.’
Early 16th century: from Old French linette, from lin ‘flax’ (because the bird feeds on flaxseeds).
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