The Yellowhammer is a robust 15.5-17 cm long bird, with a thick seed-eater's bill. The male has a bright yellow head, yellow underparts, and a heavily streaked brown back. The female is much duller, and more streaked below.


Habitat and Distribution

It breeds across Europe and much of Asia. It is most commonly found on lowland arable and mixed farmland, probably due to the greater availability of seeds. It nests in hedges, patches of scrub, and ditches, especially if these have a wide grass margin next to them, and a cereal crop next to the margin. Hedges of up to two metres tall are preferred.


Feeding

Its natural diet consists of insects when feeding young, and otherwise seeds. In winter, the flocks feed at good seed sites, such as newly-sown fields and over-wintered stubbles.


Breeding

The nest is on the ground. 3-6 eggs are laid, which show the hair-like markings characteristic of those of buntings.


Calls and Songs

The familiar, if somewhat monotonous, song of the cock is often described as A little bit of bread and no cheese, although the song varies greatly in space.