Bird song (26) – Yellowhammer

Yellowhammer. Photo: Tim Melling

A bright yellow farmland bird, sitting atop a hedge and singing ‘A little bit of bread and no cheeeeeeese’ makes this a winning combination and a relatively easy bird to identify by song or sight.

It’s a rattle followed by that cheeeeeese note – there’s nothing quite like it in most parts of the UK (just the related Cirl Bunting in Devon has a similar song but doesn’t do the cheese bit (although sometimes Yellowhammers don’t as well)).

Here is a bird from the Czech Republic:

And another individual from the Czech Republic (who sometimes adds in another note after ‘cheese’):

And lastly a UK bird with sonogram:

A simply song which is so typical of the farmed countryside (although less familiar now as Yellowhammers have declined in numbers) and an easy bird to recognise.

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1 Reply to “Bird song (26) – Yellowhammer”

  1. When I was working in arable and mixed farmland looking at the potential effect of pesticides to non- targets there were in most places two constants, the songs of Skylark and Yellowhammer. Both birds we caught and radio-tracked. Yellowhammers are lovely birds, an adult male in full plumage is to me one of our finest. Their song however is not a patch on say Skylark or one of the thrushes, yet its absence from lots of apparently suitable habitat is nonetheless keenly felt, at least by me.


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