Status: Widespread resident throughout Ireland.
Conservation Concern: Amber-listed in Ireland due to concern over the European breeding population, which has undergone a moderate recent decline.
Identification: A typical finch, slightly smaller than a Chaffinch. Has a medium-length grey bill. Linnets are social birds and can be seen in small groups throughout the year. Frequently perches on exposed sites, eg telephone wires, tops of gorse or bare tree before dropping down to feed on the ground. Adult males are distinctive when seen well, having a lead grey head and throat, with a red patch on the crown. Has some red markings on the breast throughout the year, becoming more extensive in the breeding season. The back is plain brown. Adult females are rather non-descript, appearing as a rather streaky grey-brown bird. Juvenile Linnets largely resemble adult females.
Similar Species: Twite and Lesser Redpoll
Call: Very vocal. Common calls include a "ju-jit", "chit-chit-chit" and the like. Sings throughout the year, usually when resting on branch or wires. Consists of a mixture of calls and various buzzing notes.
Diet: Feeds on seeds, split grain, buds and some insects, especially when feeding young.
Breeding: Linnets breed in a variety of habitats, including rough grassland, uplands and in coastal areas with gorse. Rather social and small flocks can be seen even during the breeding season.
Wintering: Mainly resident within Ireland, but will gather in large flocks outside of the breeding season. Increasingly noted visiting bird feeders in suburban areas.
Where to See: Widespread in Ireland.
Monitored by: Countryside Bird Survey.