Birds on Stamps

Carduelis cannabina 

Carduelis cannabina

In English fi

The Linnet (Carduelis cannabina) lives on its distribution’s northernmost border in Finland. It is met mainly in southwestern and southern Finland. The nesting stock varies between 10.000 and 20.000 couples. This species of the family of Finches (Fringillidae) feeds almost exclusively on weed seeds, which is the basis for its choice of nesting locations. Popular choices for these include fallows, storage areas and other open weedy areas.

In terms of appearance, the Linnet is thinner and smaller than the Chaffinch. The male has red color on its forehead and chest, which is loses at autumn when molting. Females and young birds don’t have the red color at all. The distinguishing feature for all suits is the cinnamon-brown back and the darkish cheek with a white patch in the middle.

The Linnet is a summer visitor in Finland, arriving here between the end of March and the beginning of May. The Linen migrates in flocks, at daytime. The nesting starts in May, when the female builds a fairly large nest into the bushes of an open area, mainly into Juniper. The female lays three to six bluish-white eggs decorated with light-purple and dark spots, and broods them for a couple of weeks. The old man might sometimes bother to help with the brooding. The young birds stay in the nest for about two weeks, during which both parents feed them. Often nests again in the same summer.

The Linnets leave to spend the winter during September and October, heading to south- and west Europe. Some small flocks of Linnets will stay in southern Finland for the winter.

The Linnet is a lively and restless bird, which is easiest to find based on its song in fallows in southern Finland, from April to March.

The Finnish name of Carduelis cannabina has evolved from the “Hamppulindu” of the 18th century, through the “Hamppu-warpunen” to the “Hamppulintu” of the 19th century, and again into “Hempponen”, until the middle of the century when it stabilized into the current “Hemppo”.




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