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Male Yellowhammer - Hilary Chambers

DBC Yellowhammer

Some facts

  • The Yellowhammer has a varierty of alternative names, some of which – such as Scribblyjack – refer to the markings on the eggs. They are also known as "Yammer". 

  • The population in the UK is in decline.

  • The population in Durham may have been in decline for many years. The Birds of Durham (Bowey and Newsome, 2012) notes that Tristram (1905) reported that it had “decreased much in numbers in late years”, while Temperley (1951) recorded a marked decline in the decade before his book was written.

We need you!

We are undertaking a Yellowhammer survey during the 2022 breeding season (late March to August) to try to determine the true status. Whilst DBC is running this survey, we would like to encourage participation from non-members also.






What am I looking for? 

Please see here for this excellent comparison of male and female Yellowhammers.

Most bird books will also detail this. 

What am I listening for?

Your attention may first be drawn to the bird by its “Little-bit-of-bread-and-no-cheese” song (the final syllable is quite often missing) or by its slightly “buzzing” call.  Here are examples of both:


What do DBC want from me?

  1. Date.

  2. Place name.

  3. Precise location – a smartphone GPS reference, UK Grid Reference Finder or the Geograph web site (easy to use).

  4. Number of Yellowhammers and, if possible, whether male or female.

  5. What the bird was doing, this is available on the form below.

Easy to use and fill out form:


Or, use our QR code:


Join the discussion online

Been out and discovered Yellowhammers? Want to keep up to date with the goings on, share your findings with others? Discuss hints and tips you've picked up in the field? Then why not use our hashtag for this survey which is #DBCYellowhammer. Try it on both Twitter and Facebook. 

There has been a lot of discussion about this on Durham Bird Club's Facebook page.

DBC is redeveloping the website so that we are getting a blog section that members can add to. This is to go live in the near future.

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