Reed Bunting - Emberiza schoeniclus


Sparrow-sized but slim and with a long, deeply notched tail, the breeding male has a black head, white collar and a drooping moustache. Females and winter males have a streaked head. In flight the tail looks black with broad, white edges.

Identification difficulty

Typically found in wetlands but has recently spread into farmland and, in winter, into gardens. When singing the male is usually perched on top of a bush or reed.

When to see it

All year round

Life History

Its natural food consists of insects when feeding young, and otherwise seeds. The nest is usually on the ground in a grass or reed tussock.

UK Status

Common and widespread in Britain

VC55 Status

Common in Leicestershire and Rutland as a breeding bird

Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map