Formerly a common bird of the wider countryside, with its “little bit of bread and no cheese” song, the prominent bright-yellow male bird will sing from May until August.
Yellowhammer have undergone a 54% population decline between 1970 and 2015. They are a red listed bird of conservation concern in the UK.
A bunting, eating seeds and insects and present year-round, flocking with other birds in winter, yellowhammer are struggling with many aspects of survival. The removal and over-management of hedgerows has reduced their nesting habitat; dense ground level cover and tussocky grasses. The efficiency of modern farming machines and the loss of winter stubbles in modern farming systems has removed much of their winter food; reducing health and condition when going into the breeding season and reducing breeding success.
Through our work on nature reserves and on farmland in Suffolk, we will improve the fortunes of the yellowhammer, providing well-managed hedgerows for breeding and encouraging the provision of wild bird crops for winter food.