The scientific name of the Twite is Linaria flavirostris. Linaria means linen-weaver and flavirostris means yellow-billed. Twite are Yellow-Billed Linen-Weavers. They’re also on the brink of extirpation in England, despite desperate heroics to save them by the RSPB, working with Natural England.
It’s Twite Week here at the Hall of Einar. Aren’t they lovely?
There are 10 or 11 recognised subspecies of Twite. Being a series of islands, which always helps the formation of new species, Britain and Ireland are on the list:
- L. f. bensonorum (Meinertzhagen, R, 1934) – Outer Hebrides (western Scotland) (sometimes included in pipilans)
- L. f. pipilans (Latham, 1787) – northern Ireland and northern Britain.
- L. f. flavirostris (Linnaeus, 1758) – northern Scandinavia and northwestern Russia.
- L. f. brevirostris (Bonaparte, 1855) – Turkey, the Caucasus and northern Iran.
- L. f. kirghizorum (Sushkin, 1925) – northern and central Kazakhstan.
- L. f. korejevi (Zarudny & Harms, 1914) – northeastern Kazakhstan to northwestern China.
- L. f. altaica (Sushkin, 1925) – southwestern Siberia, northern and western Mongolia.
- L. f. montanella (Hume, 1873) – Kyrgyzstan to western China.
- L. f. pamirensis (Zarudny & Harms, 1914) – Tajikistan, northern Afghanistan and northwestern Pakistan(sometimes included in montanella).
- L. f. miniakensis (Jacobi, A, 1923) – eastern Tibet and western China.
- L. f. rufostrigata (Walton, 1905) – western and southern Tibet, northern India and northern Nepal.
There were just 12 nests in England in 2021. Here are the details of the RSPB’s valiant attempt to save them:
What will we do with all our money when the natural world is dead? (asking for a Twite).