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 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.’
- ‘Dried redshank seeds were eaten by the sparrows, and linnets.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘In another area, he sows seeds to attract birds like linnets, reed buntings and bramblings.’
- ‘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.’
Early 16th century: from Old French linette, from lin ‘flax’ (because the bird feeds on flaxseeds).
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