Yellowhammer Emberiza citrinella

The Yellowhammer is a sparrow-sized, bright-yellow bird of woodland edges, hedgerows, heath and farmland that feeds on seeds and invertebrates. In the winter, they join mixed-species flocks of buntings, finches and sparrows to feed on seed in farmland. Yellowhammers are often seen perched on top of bushes singing their 'a little bit of bread and no cheese' song. The female builds a cup-shaped nest from grass and moss, laying between two and six eggs.

Behaviour

The male Yellowhammer is a striking bird: he has a bright yellow head and belly, with an orangey chest and streaky, brown back. Female buntings, including female Yellowhammers and Reed Buntings, can be very difficult to tell apart.

Size

Length: 16cm Wingspan: 26cm Weight: 31g Average Lifespan: 3 years

Status

Classified in the UK as a Red List species under the Birds of Conservation Concern review and as a Priority Species in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan.

Distribution

Widespread

When to see

January – December

Facts

Resident in the UK all year-round, our Yellowhammers are joined by some Scandinavian birds during winter.

Common name

Yellowhammer

Species name

Emberiza citrinella

When to see in Scotland

January – December

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