This section is from the book "The Balance Of Nature And Modern Conditions Of Cultivation", by George Abbey. Also available from Amazon: The Balance Of Nature And Modern Conditions Of Cultivation.
The Redpole (Linota linaria or rufescens), included in the subfamily of the Fringillinae or True Finches, visits this country in September, and remains to pass the winter, leaving for the north of Europe in April, for the breeding season. This bird is taken in large numbers in the autumn season by the birdcatchers. It is the smallest of the British species of finches, the bill being short and conical and the wings slender and pointed, and though of a sombre colour, brown with darker marking, has a bright red pole on top of the head. The Redpoles frequent waste places and fields in flocks or gregariously, and feed upon small seeds, being very partial to wild sorrel and other obnoxious weeds. The song is sweet, but of weak character. The redpole will pair with the linnet, goldfinch and canary. The nest is built in low bushes or trees, the eggs being four or five, and of a pale bluish-green colour, spotted with orange-brown.