Yellowhammer – Emberiza citrinella
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Class: Aves
- Order: Passeriformes
- Family: Emberizidae
- Genre: Emberiza
- Species: Emberiza citrinella
Yellowhammer can be seen on tall trees or in bushes. Body length is 15-17 cm.
The mantle, back are olive-brown with black streaks. The beak is small, with light bluish-grey mandible. The tail is long, with much white on the sides.
Yellow elements are present in all plumage. The scientific name of the species comes from the Latin word citrus – lemon, referring to the yellow colour of the plumage.
In summer, the male has a yellowish head with black lines on the crown and margins. Ventrally, the plumage is yellowish-brown, with much greenish-brown and reddish-brown on the breast and with reddish-brown streaked flanks. Dorsally the plumage is yellowish-red with black streaks and reddish streaks. In autumn, the male can be recognised by the intense yellow on the head and ventral sides, and the olive-green and reddish-brown on the breast.
The female has much more muted shades than the male. In summer, the female has the greenish-grey, streaked crest, sometimes with a yellow spot. The sides of the head are greenish-grey, lacking yellow tones. Ventrally, her plumage is light yellowish with greyish-black streaks on the breast and flanks. In the first winter, the female is almost completely brownish-brown, streaked on the head and yellowish-white ventrally, with only a faint tinge of yellow.
The song of the yellowhammer has inspired various artists over the years. It seems that Beethoven, when composing his Fifth Symphony, was inspired by the song of this species.