Reed Bunting

Emberiza schoeniclus




Emberizids (Emberizidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

Light purple with gray pink markings and splotches

Number of Eggs:

4 - 6

Incubation Days:

12 - 14

Egg Incubator:


Nest Location:

On ground sheltered by small bush or in low shrub.

Nest Material:

Dried grasses and moss, with lining of hair, flowers, and fine grasses.





Reed Bunting Breeding Male: Medium-sized finch with dark-streaked brown upperparts and faintly streaked, white underparts. Head and throat are black; moustache stripe and collar are distinctly white. Tail is white-edged. Female has striped brown head and dark-bordered white throat.

Range and Habitat

Reed Bunting: Found across Europe and Asia. Vagrant on the western Aleutians off the coast of Alaska. They occur in wetland sites such as reed beds. Found mainly in dense stands of vegetation on waterlogged soils. This species has recently tended to move into gardens and farmland habitat such as overgrown ditches and hedgerows, mainly in the winter.

Breeding and Nesting

Reed Bunting: Four to six light purple eggs with gray pink marks and splotches are laid in a nest made of dried grass and moss, lined with hair, flowers, and fine grass, and built on the ground sheltered by a small brush or low shrub. Incubation ranges from 12 to 14 days and is carried out mostly by the female.

Foraging and Feeding

Reed Bunting: Eats seeds, but also takes insects and other invertebrates, especially in summer. Forages in reeds, rushes, and riparian-thickets in summer, and in wet meadows, pastures, farmlands, and open country in winter.

Readily Eats

Safflower, Apple Slices, Suet, Millet, Peanut Kernels, Fruit


Reed Bunting: Song is a bold, staccato "shreep-shreep-teeree-tititick"; call is a descending "seeoo" or "ching."

Similar Species

Reed Bunting: Rare vagrant. Pallas's Bunting is smaller, has gray-brown upperparts with brown-black streaks, and gray-brown wing coverts.


Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
Similar to the upper part of the human neck, located at the back of the crown.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X