Reed bunting perched on a grass stem (c) Chris Cox

Reed bunting

Reed buntings are some of the most 'adulterous' birds on record. As a result, over half the chicks in a nest may not have been fathered by the female's mate. Feigning injury to lure potential predators away from their nests, which are built dangerously close to the ground albeit amongst dense vegetation, is one of the ways that parent birds protect their young. Reed buntings are wetland birds and widespread throughout central and northern Europe. They are particularly fond of reedbeds, though in recent years they've taken to coming into gardens in the winter in search of food.

Scientific name: Emberiza schoeniclus

Rank: Species

Common names:

Common reed bunting

Watch video clips from past programmes (1 clip)

In order to see this content you need to have an up-to-date version of Flash installed and Javascript turned on.

Distribution

Map showing the distribution of the Reed bunting taxa

Species range provided by WWF's Wildfinder.

The Reed bunting can be found in a number of locations including: Africa, Asia, China, Europe, Indian subcontinent, Mediterranean, United Kingdom, Wales. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.

Habitats

The following habitats are found across the Reed bunting distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

Conservation Status

Least Concern

  1. EX - Extinct
  2. EW
  3. CR - Threatened
  4. EN - Threatened
  5. VU - Threatened
  6. NT
  7. LC - Least concern

Year assessed: 2009

Classified by: IUCN 3.1

Classification

  1. Life
  2. Animals
  3. Vertebrates
  4. Birds
  5. Perching birds
  6. Emberizidae
  7. Emberiza
  8. Reed bunting

Sounds

Video collections

Take a trip through the natural world with our themed collections of video clips from the natural history archive.

  • Garden birds Garden birds

    Nestcam close-ups, expert identification guides and specialist wildlife cameras give a privileged view of a very British obsession: garden birds.