Yellowhammer, Emberiza citrinella, Bruant jaune

Yellowhammer (Emberiza citrinella)

French name: Bruant jaune

The male yellowhammer is striking in colour having a bright yellow head and chest whilst its back is brown streaked with black and they have a deep chestnut coloured rump. The female yellowhammer is less yellow and more stripy.

Yellowhammer, Emberiza citrinella, Bruant jaune

In flight you can see white outer tail feathers and a long tail forked at the tip. They are slightly larger in size than a sparrow.

The yellowhammer can be found across most of France with the exception of more southern areas. They prefer to reside in open countryside which is scattered with hedgerows and trees.

Yellowhammers feed mostly on seeds but will eat some invertebrates during the summer months.

They build their nest close to the ground amidst hedgerows, grasses or shrubs. The female yellowhammer lays on average 3-5 eggs which are glossy white with a few blotches of purple. The eggs hatch after 13 days and the young leave the nest about 11 days later.

Yellowhammer, Emberiza citrinella, Bruant jaune

We spotted this yellowhammer whilst out walking today at Bonnefond, close to our home.

If you’ve seen a yellowhammer near to where you live I’d love to know.

A bientôt

Katherine x



'Yellowhammer (Emberiza citrinella)' have 9 comments

  1. May 28, 2013 @ 10:55 am lily

    great pics……lovely bird…i think i might have heard the call but not really seen them. must look closer the next time i hear the call, it’s quite shreaky !


  2. August 1, 2016 @ 8:02 pm Cathy

    I love yellow hammers too. They are very easy to identify by sound too.
    The call sounds like ” a little bit of bread and no cheeese “.
    Once you think of this phrase when you hear them call you will never forget it!


    • August 2, 2016 @ 6:41 am Katherine

      How funny, I’m going to listen out for that now!


      • August 2, 2016 @ 8:27 pm Catherine

        I am trying to teach myself to listen out for birds as much as watch them.
        It isn’t easy! Just saw a lovely pair of goldfinches feeding on scabious seeds at the bottom of the garden, which is great to see as apparently goldfish numbers are crashing in France. They are being caught and sold as caged song birds but most die as they are trapped. Another good reason to let wild flowers seed for the birds, as well as flower for the bees. Happy gardening from one Catherine to another!


        • August 2, 2016 @ 8:28 pm Cathy

          Don’t you just hate auto correct on an iPad? I meant goldfinches – not goldfish!!


          • August 3, 2016 @ 12:05 pm Katherine

            🙂 Goldfish made me laugh though! I’m really hopeless with identifying birds by their calls too, it’s something I really must try and improve on x

          • August 4, 2016 @ 2:57 pm Cathy

            It has taken me ages to learn some too.
            Here is another easy one: greenfinches make a noise like a sulky teenager going being asked to do a chore replying ” neeeooo”

  3. April 10, 2018 @ 10:14 am Paul Bradford

    Thank you for your post Katherine. i have been searching for a name for this bird for a long time. We have at least one pair in our garden, but it is a bird that I see often in small groups. They are often on our kitchen windowsill at our seed feeder. We live in Monflanquin.


    • April 10, 2018 @ 10:33 am Katherine

      Lucky you to have them visiting your garden! I’ve not seen any in our garden but we often see them whilst out walking.


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Le Jardin Perdu 2018. All images and posts are the property of Katherine Forshaw

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