Yellowhammer (Emberiza citrinella)

The Yellowhammer is one of the UK’s iconic arable birds but sadly this colourful Bunting is in serious national decline and is now a Red- listed species.  Thankfully Hartlebury Common retains a good breeding population of these birds.  Yellowhammers are not a migrant species but do move away from the Common during the winter months when they flock together with other buntings and finches to feed in stubble fields and farm land.

Male Yellowhammers have bright yellow heads and underparts with a brown back, streaked with black and a forked tail.   Females have the same features but tend to be duller and much less vivid yellow colour. The Yellowhammer has an unforgettable song which is made up of a number of quick notes followed, quite often, by a drawn wheeze sound.  These sequence of notes has been likened to the expression “a little bit of bread and no cheese”.  To hear a Yellowhammer’s song click on the following link: Yellowhammer Song