Identification: In summer the head of the male Reed Bunting is jet black apart from neat white moustachial streaks. This moustached appearance is quite striking in all Reed Buntings, even the females and immatures, which otherwise look heavily streaked - rich brown above and dirty white below.
Habitat: Breeds and winters in reedbeds, upland and lowland marshes and farmland. Visits gardens in winter.
Distribution: A common and widely distributed species that is not only confined to reedbeds, but also occurs in hedgerows, scrub and young coniferous plantations. Small numbers occur on passage on the east coast.
Widespread throughout Europe, especially, but not exclusively, in wetland habitats.
Population: 220 000 Reed Bunting territories have been estimated for Britain with 130 000 for Ireland. The bird is widespread across both Islands but rare in the Scottish Highlands. Over one million birds are though to winter here.
3.1-4.4 million breeding pairs widepread across northern Europe but rare, with only a scattered distribution, in the south.