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Species - Reed bunting
A species of least concern.
Where to see
Reed bunting (Emberiza schoeniclus)
The reed bunting is a sparrow-size passerine bird, which occurs across Europe and through much of temperate and northern Asia. Most northern birds migrate south in winter but those in the milder south and west of its range are resident. It is found as a common and numerous year-round resident throughout the UK except for the extreme north of Scotland, where it is a summer visitor. Its most frequented habitats are marshland and reedbeds but it also breeds in drier open areas such as moorland and cultivated fields, and is sometimes seen in gardens.
The reed bunting is 14 to16 centimetre long with a small but sturdy seed-eater's bill. The tail is slightly notched. The male has a black head and throat, white neck collar and underparts, and a heavily streaked brown back. The outer tail feathers are white in both sexes. The bill is black, short and stubby. The medium length legs are black. In general appearance, the female is much duller (similar to other female buntings) having a streaked brown head and more pronounced streaking below. The call of the cock is little more than a monotonous, repetitive zrip.
Nesting takes place during April to June. A cup-shaped nest is built in low bushes or trees or actually on the ground. Each contains 3 to 6 (typically 5) pale grey and black eggs, which hatch within 12 to 13 days. The young are naked and helpless but fledge in 10 to 14 days. There are usually 2 broods.
The diet comprises various kinds of seed.