Yellowhammer (Emberiza citrinella)
Species
Yellowhammer (Emberiza citrinella). Male, summer plumage. Taken at Otmoor, Oxon., on April 6th 2012.
Male, summer plumage. Taken at Otmoor, Oxon., on April 6th 2012.
(1/320th sec at f11. Click image for larger version. © David Hastings)
Yellowhammer (Emberiza citrinella). Male, winter plumage. Taken at Otmoor, Oxon., on February 19th 2012.
Male, winter plumage. Taken at Otmoor, Oxon., on February 19th 2012.
(1/500th sec at f13. Click image for larger version. © David Hastings)
Yellowhammer (Emberiza citrinella)). Female. Taken at Gwenffrwd-Dinas, Ceredigion, on May 9th 2014.
Female. Taken at Gwenffrwd-Dinas, Ceredigion, on May 9th 2014.
(1/320th sec at f11. Click image for larger version. © David Hastings)

Description

L: 15½ - 17 cm; WS: 26 cm

Male Yellowhammers are unmistakeable, with bright yellow head and underparts, brown back streaked with black, and chestnut rump. In flight they show white outer tail feathers. Females are greyish-green with a streaked crown. Underparts are paler yellow with greyish-black streaking on breast and flanks.

Yellowhammers are found throughout the British Isles, but are only summer visitors to northern Scotland.

Typical Yellowhammer habitats are lowland arable and mixed farmland. They nest in hedges, patches of scrub, and ditches, especially if these have a wide grass margin next to them, and a cereal crop next to the margin. Hedges of up to six feet tall are preferred. In winter, they feed at good seed sites, such as newly-sown fields and over-wintered stubbles.

In winter, Yellowhammers often form large flocks with other finches and buntings.

The Yellowhammer has been a UK Red List species since 2002, due to population decline. There are around 710000 breeding pairs in Britain.

Sightings

07-May-2018 : Aston Upthorpe Downs, Oxon (h)
01-May-2018 : Otmoor, Oxon (1)
19-Apr-2018 : Aston Upthorpe Downs, Oxon (h)
26-Mar-2018 : Otmoor, Oxon (2)
22-Feb-2018 : Bury Down, Berks (10+)
20-Feb-2018 : East Hendred Down, Oxon (20+)
11-Feb-2018 : Bury Down, Berks (4)
30-Jan-2018 : Otmoor, Oxon (1m,2f)

23-Dec-2017 : Lower Radley, Oxon (1)
04-Dec-2017 : Otmoor, Oxon (2)
09-Oct-2017 : West Walton, Norfolk (2)
23-Aug-2017 : Lollingdon Hill, Oxon (1)
08-Jul-2017 : Aston Upthorpe Downs, Oxon (1)
25-Mar-2017 : Otmoor, Oxon (1m)
12-Mar-2017 : Rushy Common, Oxon (1)
04-Feb-2017 : Otmoor, Oxon (4m)

28-Dec-2016 : Otmoor, Oxon (3)
13-Nov-2016 : Otmoor, Oxon (1)
21-Aug-2016 : Pewsey Downs NNR, Wilts (1m)
14-Aug-2016 : Otmoor, Oxon (1m)
30-Jun-2016 : Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon (1)
17-Apr-2016 : Otmoor, Oxon (2)
03-Apr-2016 : Aston Upthorpe Downs, Oxon (1m)
03-Apr-2016 : Churn, Oxon (2m,1f)
25-Mar-2016 : Otmoor, Oxon (4)
13-Mar-2016 : Otmoor, Oxon (2)

22-Nov-2015 : Otmoor, Oxon (1)
16-Aug-2015 : Pewsey Downs NNR, Wilts (1)
16-Aug-2015 : Hackpen Hill, Oxon (2)
16-May-2015 : Ivinghoe Beacon, Bucks (1+)
04-May-2015 : Aston Upthorpe Downs, Oxon (1)
01-May-2015 : Wareham Forest, Dorset (1)
11-Jan-2015 : Otmoor, Oxon (1m)
10-Jan-2015 : Lower Radley, Oxon (5+)

06-Dec-2014 : Lower Radley, Oxon (5+)
20-Jul-2014 : Finemere Wood, Bucks (1)
30-Jun-2014 : Kiplingcotes Chalk Pit, E. Yorks (2)
29-Jun-2014 : Crowle Moor, N. Lincs (1)
09-May-2014 : Gwenffrwd-Dinas, Ceredigion (2)
18-Apr-2014 : Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon (1m)
13-Apr-2014 : Churn, Oxon (5+)
09-Mar-2014 : Otmoor, Oxon (1m)