Bearded Reedling– Panurus biarmicus
Species: Panurus biarmicus
The adult is small, with a body length of 14-15 cm. Characteristic thirsty flight with irregular wing beats. Beak is conical with a pointed tip. The colour is yellow-violet, the head bluish, with a black moustache, which is missing in females.
The Bearded Reedling has a large nesting range, including most of Europe and Asia. The population in Europe ranges from 232,000 to 437,000 nesting pairs. It is a sedentary species that can travel short distances due to the cold in winter. It sometimes occurs in northern Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. The Iberian Peninsula is a favourite wintering area. In Romania, the reed bunting is found in the Danube Delta and in the reedy wetlands of the rest of the country. In Romania, the breeding population of reed bunting is between 19,605 and 40,465 pairs.
Living environment and biology of the species
The Bearded Reedling nests in wet areas with compact reed beds, characteristic of freshwater or brackish lakes and marshes. To a large extent, nesting territories overlap with territories used during autumn and winter. Outside the nesting season they form large flocks of up to 200 individuals. Maximum longevity is seven years. In summer it feeds on various invertebrates, especially insects. In late autumn and winter it eats seeds, and in spring it eats petals or buds.
The reed warbler is a diurnal species. It is monogamous. Pairs nest in small colonies. Its song apparently serves to attract a mate and maintain the pair. The nest is made of various plant materials and is placed on reed stalks between 30 and 125 cm above the water. Both partners participate in the construction of the nest. The female lays a clutch of 4-8 eggs in mid-April. Incubation lasts 10-14 days and is carried out by both partners. After hatching, the chicks are cared for for 12-13 days by both parents until they begin to fly. In a breeding season, a pair may lay 2-4 eggs in a breeding season.
Threats and conservation measures
Populations of reed can be threatened by habitat loss and alteration, pollution and poor water management. Necessary conservation measures include: respecting building restrictions in riparian areas, maintaining or restoring vegetation to an ecologically optimal level for the species, prohibiting the burning of riparian vegetation, including prohibiting the burning of reedbeds, preserving reedbeds with permanent water as characteristic habitat, measures to avoid eutrophication and sedimentation of wetlands. Between cultivated land and wetlands it is recommended to maintain uncultivated strips of at least 1.5 m, where the use of chemicals is strictly prohibited.
Only selective and low-toxicity agrochemicals should be used on neighbouring land and treated seeds should not be used, and organic farming should be encouraged. Water level management in aquatic ecosystems should be applied in accordance with the ecological needs of the species. It is important to inventory breeding areas, identify migration, feeding and aggregation areas, and promote studies on various aspects of the species’ biology.
- Fântână Ciprian, Kovács Istvan, Benkő Zoltán, Daròczi Szilárd, Domșa Cristian, Veres-Szászka Judit (editors), 2022, Atlas of bird species of community interest in Romania, 2nd edition – Love birds, save nature!, Project financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the Large Infrastructure Operational Programme 2014-2020, Ministry of Environment, Water and Forests – Biodiversity Directorate, scientific coordination Romanian Ornithological Society and Association for the Protection of Birds and Nature Milvus Group, produced by EXCLUS PROD SRL, p. 502.
Svensson (text and maps), 2017, Guide to bird identification. Europe and the Mediterranean area, translation and adaptation into Romanian: Romanian Ornithological Society, Emanuel Ștefan Baltag, Sebastian Bugariu, Alida Barbu, p. 346.
Radu Dimitrie (1983)- Mic atlas ornitologic – Pajările lumii, Editura Albatros, București, p. 214.