Yellow Hammer - Emberiza Citrinella

(click to enlarge)
A widespread resident of this country, more likely to be seen in country fields during the summer months, only honouring us with it's presence in the garden during the winter when food is short. The Yellowhammer is a very sociable and attractive bird, when it visits the garden it will usually do so in groups of ten or more. It is well known for it's "little bit of bread and no cheese" song phrases, which the male likes to sing from a prominent position such as a fence post or tree top.

The Yellowhammer has a bright yellow head and breast, chestnut upper parts with streaking on head, back and flanks. Females are of a duller appearance and less streaked, as are the young who have almost no yellow parts at all. The Yellowhammer can be identified from Finches by its slimmer body and longer tail.

The cup shaped nest is built by the female with grass and moss, most nests are placed on or near the ground, amongst hedges or shrubs. Two or three broods of up to five young are raised.

Corn and seed are it's staple diet, which is why Yellowhammers are not a very frequent visitor to gardens in the summer. In the winter however, when natural food supplies are short, it is a regular visitor to the garden. They prefer to forage on the ground rather than feeding from a bird table, and will usually visit in groups of 10 or more.

Garden Tips
Yellowhammers will visit the garden in winter, and will feed on corn, seed and fruit.