Collier's New Encyclopedia (1921)/Linnet
LINNET, a very common and well-known song-bird, frequenting all Europe S. of 64°, and in Asia extending to Turkestan. It is a winter visitor to Egypt and Abyssinia, and is found in great numbers in Barbary, the Canaries, and Madeira. In autumn and winter the plumage is brown; in the breeding season the breast and head of both sexes becomes a crimson-red, varying only in degree. The (later) generic and specific names have reference to the fondness of the bird for the seeds of flax and hemp. It is popularly known, according to its sex and the season of the year, as the red, gray, or brown linnet.