One of the lesser seen garden bird visitors, the Yellowhammer is most likely to be seen in rural gardens close to arable farmland. It is one of the larger buntings with a distinctive forked tail.
Adult male Yellowhammers have a reddish-brown coloured plumage with intermittent streaks of black. In the breeding season their heads are bright yellow as are their stomachs, for the rest of the year their bright plumage is replaced with a more faded yellow on the face and stomach. Female and juvenile Yellowhammers are duller in appearance when compared to the males and often only have a hint of yellow visible on their plumage.
The Yellowhammer is an omnivore meaning they eat both plants and insects. Cereals are the most important part of their diet.
When laying their eggs, the females will lay between 2 and 6 eggs, which then hatch 12-14 later. Only the females take part during in incubation period. Their nests either on or close to the ground, in cup shapes out of grass and moss.
Yellowhammers are usually content with eating seeds that occur naturally or are grown on arable land. They will visit gardens in the winter when these naturally occurring seeds are not as readily available. Offering wild bird mixes containing a variety of seeds in your garden over winter is likely to attract Yellowhammers in rural areas.