Reed Bunting Emberiza schoeniclus   [Linnaeus, 1758]

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Order: Passeriformes Family: Emberizidae
BTO Codes: RB, REEBU EURING No: 18770
Number in Britain: 230 thousand Territories (Summer)
Conservation Status:
UK: AMBER
European: Not a species of concern
Global: (Details)
Status in UK: (A)  Resident Breeder, Passage/Winter Visitor
Subspecies: schoeniclus recorded in Britain (of 18 subsp. in the world)
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Length: 16 cm Wingspan: 24 cm Weight: M/F: 21 g    
Scientific name from: old German: embritz=bunting and Gr.: skhoiniklos=a reed + colere=to dwell
World Distribution: Eurasia, n Africa
Habitat: Reedbed, riverine scrub
Diet: Seeds, also invertebrates in breeding season, among sedges, reed rushes etc
TitBit: Over 50% of Reed Bunting chicks are not fathered by the pair male but are the result of an adulterous liaison, the highest recorded rate of any bird.  
Identification Tips:
  Images from IBC or search flickr
  Videos from IBC
  Sound from xeno-canto
Crossley ID photos

Population and Distribution

Population Trend: BirdTrends   
Regional Trends: Scotland   England   English Regions
Distribution: Atlas Mapstore    BBS Maps
British Population Size:
    Summer: 230 thousand Territories in 2009
    First Record: Recorded in Medieval times [Fossil evidence from Devensian (last) glaciation, 10-120,000 yr ago]
    Latest Survey: Musgrove, A. et al. (2013) British Birds 106:64-100
    Conservation Status: AMBER because Recent Breeding Population Decline (1969-2007),
   Previous Assessments: 2002-2007 RED     1996-2001 RED  
   Races of Concern: schoeniclus AMBER (Recent Decline)
UK Biodiversity Action Plan (Lead Partner: RSPB)
Habitat Occupancy (in the Breeding Season):
    Most frequent in: Reedbed
Relative Frequency in Each Habitat:
Migration routes: Map of foreign ringing recoveries
European Population Size:
    Summer: 3.4 to 6.3 million pairs   (Trend in Numbers)
Population Assesment from Birds in Europe
Distribution in Europe mapped by the EBCC Atlas
Listed on the Appendices/Schedules of: WCA(III), Bern(III), NERC (41)
Survey Results: Results from BirdTrack
Results from Garden BirdWatch
Results from the Winter Farmland Bird Survey

Breeding and Survival

Egg Size: 20 x 15 mm Egg Weight: 2.2 g (of which 6 % is shell)
Number of Nest Records: 75   (more would be welcome!)
Clutch Size: 4 - 5 eggs 4.48 ± 0.71 (2 - 8) N = 1712
Incubation: 13- 13 days 12.81 ± 0.82 (11.5 - 14.5) N = 1712   by the: Female
Fledging: 12 - 14days 12.49 ± 1.45 (9.5 - 14.5) N = 2206 as: Altricial, downy
Source:
British Trust for Ornithology (2005) Nest Record Scheme data
First Clutches Laid: 12 May (25 Apr - 30 Jun)
Number of Broods: 1-2
See trends in Breeding Productivity
Number Ringed: Annual Totals
Adult Survival: 0.542 ± 0.019    (M:0.559 ± 0.033; F:0.523 ± 0.041)      
Juvenile Survival: 0.474 (in First-Year)  
Age at First Breeding: 1 year Typical Lifespan: 3 years
Maximum Recorded Age: 9 years 11 months 18 days (set in 1978)
Read a summary of Ringing Recoveries

Biometrics

Ring Size: A (pulli B)
Wing Length Adult: 77.8 ± 3.6 Range 72 - 83 mm, N =17032
Juvenile: 77.3 ± 6.7 72 - 82 mm, N =14164
Male: 80.1 ± 2.6 76 - 84 mm, N =9655
Female: 74.8 ± 2.1 72 - 78 mm, N =7258
Weight Adult: 19.18 ± 1.79 Range 16.40 - 22.20 g , N =14380
Juvenile: 18.61 ± 1.69 16.00 - 21.50 g , N =11985
Male: 20.07 ± 1.48 17.80 - 22.60 g , N =8143
Female: 18.01 ± 1.43 16.00 - 20.50 g , N =6136
Source:
British Trust for Ornithology (2005) Ringing Scheme data

Other Names

Common Reed Bunting
Gaelic: Gealag-dhubh-cheannach Welsh: Bras y Cyrs
Danish: Rørspurv Dutch: Rietgors
Finnish: Pajusirkku French: Bruant des roseaux
German: Rohrammer Hungarian: Nádi sármány
Icelandic: Seftittlingur Irish: Gealóg Ghiolcaí
Italian: Migliarino di palude Norwegian: Sivspurv
Polish: Potrzos zwyczajny Portuguese: Escrevedeira-dos-caniços
Spanish: Escribano palustre Swedish: Sävsparv
Local Names: Reed/Fen Sparrow

For More Information...

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