Mobile bird identification
Bird Field Guide

The male Reed Bunting in summer is a striking bird with a brown back streaked with black, it's head is black and white and in flight has distinctive white outer tail feathers on a black tail.

Reed Bunting

Emberiza schoeniclus
Bunting Menu
Thanks to: (Modified)
The Reed Bunting is widespread in Europe, resident in central parts and a summer visitor to Northern Europe. A resident breeding bird in the UK, however to most of Scotland it is a summer visitor.
Wet marsh with reeds, willows and rushes often on the edge of lakes and ponds. During the winter it can move to farmland and gardens.
The males can be heard singing almost continuously from low perches throughout the summer months.

Order: Passeriformes

Family: Emberizidae

Genus:  Emberiza

Species: E. schoeniclus
Note the distinctive black head, white neck and white stripe below cheek, this male is unlikely to be confused with another species.
Identification points of a male Reed Bunting
Adult Male (Summer)
Adult Male (Winter)
Male Reed Bunting in winter plumage
Adult Female
Female Reed Bunting
White stripe below cheek
Black and white neck and head
Dull white underside
Brown legs
Black tail with white outer tail feathers
Rufous brown wings
Brown back with black streaks
Same markings as summer plumage except head and neck is dull brown.

Note: This image shows the male with a white eye stripe which is not correct.
The female is similar to the male in winter plumage, however the female has a more defined eye stripe than the male. Her back is more cream coloured than the male.
Female Reed Bunting
Male Reed Bunting in winter plumage
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Male Reed Bunting
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Note the faint white neck with brown head, the absence of a clear eye stripe indicates that this is a winter male and not a female.
The female Reed Bunting has a pronounced eye stripe and lighter coloured back than the male.