A small song bird that lives in reed beds from Ireland in the West to Kamchatka in the East. They migrate south from its northernmost areas but, in Britain, is mostly resident.
The male has a black head with a white collar round the neck. The female lacks this but both are richly streaked birds with a lot of chestnut in them. They have a fairly long tail - and white outer tail feathers. The male has a rather boring and repetitive song which it gives from an elevated song perch - only a few are used in each territory. 350,000 pairs in Britain and Ireland.
Old World bunting - related to New World Sparrows.
Length 160 mm Closed wing 80 mm Weight 20 gms
A Bird On! Sketch by Chris Mead
Copyright © 1996 by Jacobi Jayne & Company and Chris Mead