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Reed Buntings

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Quick Facts

Scientific name:  Emberiza schoeniclus

Size:  Up to 150mm

Distribution:  Found throughout the UK

Months seen:  All year round

Habitat:  Mostly found in wetland areas but can also show up on farmland and in gardens

Food:  Seeds and small invertebrates

Special features:  Reed Buntings have brown plumage on their backs which is streaked with black.  The undersides are greyish-white and streaked with brown.  The head of the male Reed Bunting is black in the breeding season, and brown with black streaks later in the year.  The female Reed Bunting has a brown head with some darker brown patches on the cheeks.  Both the males and females have a white moustache trailing from the beak to the neck.  The tail has a V-shaped notch.

Reed buntings are fidgety birds.  They tend to flick their tails and wings a lot.  When disturbed from their nests they will pretend to be injured, by crawling on the ground with their wings partially open, in order to divert intruders away from the nest.

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