Reed bunting

Reed bunting
Emberiza schoeniclus
Photo by Rob Belterman (Internet Bird Collection)
Common name:

Order Passeriformes
Family Emberizidae

This species found breeding throughout Europe, and in northern Asia, from Siberia to the Caucasus, the northern slopes of the Himalayas, northern China and Japan. The northern population migrate south to winter in southern Europe and north-west Africa, the Middle East, northern India and southern China.

These birds are 13-16 cm long and have a wingspan of 21-26 cm. They weigh 16-22 g.

Reed buntings are found in a wide range of inland wetlands, including marshes, bogs, freshwater lakes, scrub-dominated wetlands and tundra wetlands. They can also be found in reedbeds bordering coastal wetlands such as coastal lagoons and estuaries.

They mostly feed on seeds and other plant materials, but during spring and summer they also eat invertebrates such as snails, earthworms, flies, butterflies, caterpillars, beetles, grasshoppers and spiders.

The reed bunting breeds in April-July. The female builds the nest, a foundation of stems and blades of sedges and grasses, lined with finer plant material, moss, rootlets, and sometimes hair or feathers. There the female lays 4-6 eggs, which she incubates alone for 12-15 days. The chicks fledge 10-12 days after hatching. Each pair raised 1-2 broods per season.

IUCN status – LC (Least Concern)
This species has an extremely large breeding range and a global population estimated at 30-100 million individuals. Population in Europe have undergone a moderate decline over the last 3 decades, but the species is not threatened.

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