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Reed Bunting

From Opus

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Photo by Richard FordMale
Photo by Richard Ford

Alternative name: Common Reed Bunting

Emberiza schoeniclus



13.5-15.5 cm
Breeding Male Black head and throat, white neck collar and underparts, heavily streaked brown back, deeply notched tail with white edges.
In winter the black is obscured by rufous-buff edging.
The female' and immature are much duller, though still heavily streaked, lacking the black head and white collar. A buff supercilium.
Legs and stout bill brown.

Similar species

Pallas's Bunting from eastern Siberia looks similar. However it's smaller, longer-tailed, the plumage is generally paler and it has a pale rump.


Europe and northern Asia.


Photo by postcardcvFemale
Photo by postcardcv


Breeds in almost any kind of marshy place: reedbeds, river banks etc but in ""winter will be found on farmland, particularly stubble fields.


Forms mixed flocks in winter with other buntings and finches.


Erratic bursts of wing-beats.


Its diet includes seeds and insects when feeding young.


Photo by targetmanLincolnshire UK June 2008
Photo by targetman
Lincolnshire UK June 2008

They lay 4-7 eggs in a nest which is built in a bush or reeds


Song: repetitious "tseek, tseek, tseek, tissick".

Listen in an external program


  1. Wikipedia
  2. Birdwatchers Pocket Guide ISBN 1-85732-804-3
  3. Collins Pocket Guide to British Birds 1966
  4. Collins Field Guide 5th Edition

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