Reed Bunting (Emberiza schoeniclus)


Reed Buntings love seeds and insects and although more commonly feast on insects found in wet, marshy areas they will visit feeders in gardens.


Similar in size and appearance to a House Sparrow, the underparts are streaked brown and the outer tail feathers are white. The legs and bill are dark brown. The female’s plumage is similar to the male but has a shorter tail. The head is brown with a buff throat and buff-coloured lines above and below the eye. Juveniles are similar to the female but with less distinct markings on the head. In flight, the outer white tail feathers are noticeable.


Reed Buntings construct their nests from grass and moss built on the ground but usually among reeds or grasses in a wet and marshy areas. The female incubates the eggs which can be 20 mm by 15 mm in size. They are smooth, glossy and pale lilac or dark green with black markings. Once hatched, the young are fed by both parents.

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