Friday, 24 July 2009

Yellowhammer (Emberiza citrinella)

OTHER NAMES: Yellow Bunting, Scribbler
Latin Etymology: Emberiza ("bunting") citrinella (Italian name for a small yellow bird)
Adult male Yellowhammer (subspecies E. c. citrinella) at Geddington, Northants - May 2012

Featured Subspecies: Emberiza citrinella citrinella
Weight: 20-36g  /  Length: 16.5cm  /  Wingspan: 23-29cm
UK RED LIST / IUCN Red List: Least Concern

Yellowhammers are sparrow sized and shaped birds most notable for their bright yellow colouration, which makes them more or less unmistakable. They feed on seeds and insects and live in rural environments, the ones I've seen have all been in thick hedgerows, usually at the edge of fields, or on the edges of woods bordering on fields. They are the most widespread and distinctive of the buntings - a bright yellow bird perched on a hedgerow is almost inevitably a yellowhammer. A lot of countryside walks probably have a decent chance of seeing these birds, but personally I've found that I see far more of them on the footpaths around my village than I have elsewhere.

Related Species:
Family: Emberizidae
Genus: Emberiza
Subspecies: E. c. caliginosa, E. c. citrinella, E. c. erythrogenys  

 - Sighting Locations -
UNITED KINGDOM - A generally widespread but scarce species (710,000 territories)
 - Seen at locations including Geddington, Rutland Water and Brigstock

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