Yellowhammer Facts

Yellowhammer Facts
Yellowhammer is a songbird that belongs to the bunting family. There are three subspecies of yellowhammer that can be found in Europe and Asia. Yellowhammer has been introduced to New Zealand where it is numerous and widespread today. Yellowhammer inhabits farmlands, hedgerows, thickets, scrublands, edges of the forests and sparsely wooded pastures. Changes in the agricultural practice, lack of food and increased usage of fertilizers and pesticides resulted in drastic decline in the number of yellowhammers in some parts of Europe. Despite these factors, global population of yellowhammers is still large and stable. Yellowhammer is not on the list of endangered species.
Interesting Yellowhammer Facts:
Yellowhammer can reach 6.3 to 6.5 inches in length and 0.71 to 1.29 ounces of weight.
Yellowhammer have yellow colored body, orange chests and heavily streaked brown back. Rump is reddish-brown colored. White feathers can be seen on the outer parts of tail. Males are much more brighter in color than females.
Yellowhammer has dark eyes, thick bill, dark legs and long forked tail.
Yellowhammer is diurnal bird (active during the day). Groups (flocks) of yellowhammers roost in dense thicket during the night.
Yellowhammer is an omnivore (it eats both plants and animals). Cereals are the most important part of its diet. Insects are on the menu usually during the summer.
Yellowhammer migrates toward the wintering grounds in the south during the autumn. It gathers in large mixed flocks made of buntings, finches and sparrows during the winter. They are usually located near the farms which provide plenty of food.
Natural enemies of yellowhammers are rodents and corvids (which attack nestlings and steal eggs) and birds of prey.
Yellowhammers produce monotonous songs, made of short notes that repeat rapidly. Rhythm of the song is often described as "a-little-bit-of-bread-and-no-cheese". Males learn songs from their fathers.
Female chooses mating partner based on his songs. Males with the biggest repertoire of songs have the greatest chances to find mating partner.
Mating season of yellowhammers takes place from April to May. Yellowhammers form monogamous couples (they mate for a lifetime) that produce 2 to 3 broods per year.
Female builds cup-shaped nest made of grasses and moss, on or close to the ground.
Yellowhammer is also known as "scribble lark" due to characteristic markings on the eggs that look like scribbled lines.
Female lays 2 to 6 white eggs that hatch after 12 to 14 days. Only female takes part in the incubation of eggs.
Both parents collect food for their chicks until they become ready for the independent life. Young yellowhammers learn to fly at the age of 14 to 16 days and reach sexual maturity at the age of one year.
Yellowhammer can survive around 3 years in the wild.

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