The linnet has a grey head, chestnut brown coloured back and dark wings. What really helps to identify this lively little finch is its attractive crimson red breast and forehead, which is most striking on the male during the breeding season. In Victorian and Edwardian times the linnet was a popular cage bird because of its beautifully rich and twittering song.
The linnet is very sociable, forming tight flocks as it forages for seeds on the ground together or insects to feed its young. Even small nesting communities will gather at dusk and sing before settling down. These flocks are easily disturbed, taking to flight very quickly when alarmed.
Like other farmland birds, populations of linnets have been in decline. They are now on the Red List for conservation concern, because of the increased use of weedkiller that kills off its food source of weed and wild flower seeds.