reed-bunting defined in 1930 yearreed-bunting - Reed-Bunting;
reed-bunting - Head, throat, and gorget black (in winter speckled with light brown); nape, sides of the neck, and a line extending to the base of the beak white; upper parts variegated with reddish brown and dusky; under parts white streaked with dusky on the flanks. Female: head reddish brown with dusky spots; the white on the neck less distinct; under parts reddish white, with dusky spots. Length, six inches.
The reed-bunting, although by no means an uncommon bird, is not nearly so common as either the corn-bunting or yellowhammer. It is a bird of the waterside, and its spring and summer life is passed among the reeds and aquatic herbage and willows and alders growing on the margins of streams and marshes. It is widely distributed, and, where suitable localities exist, may be looked for with some confidence. In most districts it is known as the reed-sparrow, and in its colouring and general appearance it is undoubtedly more sparrow-like than the other buntings. From its black head, which is very conspicuous by contrast with the white collar, it is often ailed the black-headed bunting, a name which more properly belongs to a continental species to be noticed later on as an accidental visitor to this country. The male is a persistent singer in the spring months, and, perched near the top of a reed, or on the topmost branch of an alder tree, he will repeat at intervals his slight reedy song of four or five notes, the last somewhat prolonged. If disturbed, he will fly a little distance ahead and perch again; and this action he will repeat two or three times if followed up; then, doubling back, he will return to the first spot. He is a sprightlier bird than the other buntings. The slender reed-stems he perches on, which bend and sway beneath the slightest weight, have taught him easier and more graceful motions, although in that respect he cannot compare with the bearded tit.
The nest is made near the water, on or close to the ground, under a bush or bunch of rushes, and is composed of dry grass and leaves and stems of aquatic plants, and lined with fibrous roots and horsehair. The eggs are four or five in number, in ground-colour dull white or grey, spotted and streaked with purplish brown and dull grey.
The reed-bunting remains in this country all the year, but in severe weather leaves the wet. low ground, and is then seen among the flocks of mixed finches in fields and in the neighbourhood of farmhouses.
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near reed-bunting in Knolik
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