Reed Bunting - Hebridean Birds
Western Isles Birds - The reed bunting,s head, bill and throat are black, white moustached stripe, upperparts are reddish brown, striped black a nd the outer tail feathers are white.

The male Reed Bunting has a dark head and bib, which are black in the summer and dull brown in winter

The legs are dark brown. These lovely birds are being seen more regularly throughout The Western Isles.
       
Bluetit - Bird Sightings - Stornoway - Western Isles
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Bird Overview - Reed Bunting
Family
Bunting
Latin name
Emberiza schoeniclus

Population
Common


Similar Species
Yellowhammer
Lapland Bunting
Description
The reed bunting,s head, bill and throat are black, white moustached stripe, upperparts are reddish brown, striped black a nd the outer tail feathers are white. The legs are dark brown.

The male Reed Bunting has a dark head and bib, which are black in the summer and dull brown in winter. A broad white collar is evident in the summer as is a thin white moustache (which can also be seen in winter, but is more buff coloured).

Females and winter males have a streaked head - the females are nondescript when compared to the males. . In flight the tail looks black with broad, white edges


Size
15-16 cm (6-6½") - House Sparrow sized
Habitat
The reed buntings like wet vegetation, river banks with reeds, marshy areas.
Food
Seeds and Insects .Adults eat wild flower and grass seeds, with a supplement of flies, beetles, caterpillars and spiders
Voice
The reed bunting,s song is is a short stammering phrases. A hesitant series of notes.

Breeding
Reed Buntings build their nests on or just above the ground in thick vegetation. Nest are made from grass, reeds and twigs with a soft lining of moss. Reed Buntings breed from mid-April to August.

They lay up to 5 eggs, which are brown with heavy black spots and scrawls. When disturbed the parent often reacts by pretending to be injured. The young are fed almost entirely on insects until they are independent

Misc.  Info
Reed buntings usually perch rather upright on a plant stem with tail at an angle or twisted to one side.. These birds in all plumages show the white tail feathers - they constantly flick their tails and wings nervously - their behaviour is a clue as to identity as sometimes their plumage makes them appear sparrow looking. Reed Buntings are afairly common breeding speciesin The Western Isles

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