Yellowhammer - Emberiza citrinella


Breeding males are unmistakeable with a bright yellow head and underparts, brown back streaked with black, and chestnut rump. Females have very little yellow overall and are more heavily streaked on the flanks. In winter both sexes appear similar. In flight it shows white outer tail feathers. Often seen perched on top of a hedge or bush, singing the familiar, if somewhat monotonous, song described as "a little bit of bread and no cheese".

Identification difficulty

Look in open countryside with bushes and hedgerows.

When to see it

All year round

Life History

Its natural diet consists of insects when feeding young, and otherwise seeds. The nest is usually on or near the ground.

UK Status

Fairly common and widespread in Britain, although its recent population decline make it a Red List species.

VC55 Status

A fairly common breeding bird in Leicestershire and Rutland.

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


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

UK Map