Belongs to: buntings

Yellowhammer Emberiza citrinella

BoCC Red list

Best time to see: all year

Key facts

Open country bird with the catchy song: 'little-bit-of-bread-and-no-cheeeese'

Habitat: hedgerows, scrub or woodland bordering fields

Widespread and common resident outside urban areas, but declining


Male has bright yellow head and underparts, brown wings and chestnut rump; female is similar but duller; 16–17 cm

Often seen perched on wires or bush, singing its catchy song 

Feeds mainly on cereals and weed seeds, also berries and insects; in winter flock with other seed-eaters feeding in fields


Male sings from late February until August, usually from a favourite spot such as a pole or tall tree

Nest is cup of dry grass lined with hair, well hidden on the ground or low in a bush

Two, sometimes 3, broods of 3–5 white eggs with purplish marking, April to August

© David Harrison