We walked along a sunny path on the top of Devon cliffs yesterday. The hedge was to the left and barley to the right, this beautiful bird was perched singing .
This is a yellow hammer (Emberiza citrinella) The one in the post is a Male with a distinctive yellow head. They are often spotted like this one sitting on a post or perch singing. They eat seeds and insects.
When in flight the white tail feathers can be seen. These birds have declined in number and are on the red list. The UK population fell by 54% between 1970-1998′ the main factor is thought to be overwintering survival and a lack of seeds to eat.
Strategies to support ( taken from rspb) yellow hammers are :
- Maintain short, thick hedges and ditches with wide margins for nesting.
- Flower-rich margins are better for insects than grass margins.
- Do not trim hedgerows before September, as the late nests of yellowhammers are the most important for overall productivity.
- Ensure there is at least one good seed food source throughout the winter.