Linnet, a songbird of Europe and Asia. The linnet grows about six inches (15 cm) long. In winter its plumage is brown, except for the white-edged, black tail. In spring the male develops a rosy breast and crown. Linnets feed chiefly on seeds, and they are particularly fond of linseed, from which they get their name.
The neat, cup-shaped nest of twigs and roots lined with wool and hair is built in a low shrub. The female lays four to six pale-blue eggs flecked with gray and brown.
Because of their clear, sweet song, linnets are prized as cage birds in Europe. In Germany they are taught to imitate the songs of other birds.
The linnet is Carduelis cannabina of the finch family, Fringillidae.