Definition of yellowhammer in US English:



  • 1

    another term for "yellow-shafted flicker" (see flicker)
    • ‘The other species that have been put on the list are the marsh tit, willow tit, ring ouzel, grasshopper warbler, Savi's warbler, lesser spotted woodpecker and yellowhammer.’
    • ‘Yellowhammer - this member of the woodpecker family is also called a flicker.’
    • ‘The yellow-shafted flicker (Colaptes auratus), known locally as the yellowhammer, is the state bird of Alabama.’
    • ‘The flicker with its many aliases is probably our most interesting woodpecker. Some of the more common are the yellowhammer and the yellow-shafted woodpecker.’
  • 2A common Eurasian bunting, the male of which has a yellow head, neck, and breast.

    Emberiza citrinella, family Emberizidae (subfamily Emberizinae)

    • ‘Snipe, red buntings, yellowhammers and even kingfishers are supposedly hereabouts.’
    • ‘A network of mini-reserves on Lakeland hills could provide vital havens for declining bird species like yellowhammers, reed buntings and lapwings, according to the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.’
    • ‘The farm itself has good numbers of breeding birds and is home to yellowhammers, linnets, corn buntings, tree and hedge sparrows, along with lapwings and grey partridge.’
    • ‘The conventional plots also held more weed seeds, which are important to birds such as skylarks and yellowhammers.’
    • ‘Waders such as redshank and spoonbills, have begun to proliferate, and numbers of larks, linnets, yellowhammers and reed bunting have grown.’
    • ‘Across the tracks we bought honey, walked the woods by the river and climbed through conifers to top out at wild grasslands with swallows, yellowhammers and smooth views over an eternity of wheat.’
    • ‘Through the glass door to the step outside, two dozen yellowhammers and sparrows picked up seeds thrown on the snowy concrete.’
    • ‘Willows provide nesting sites for several types of finches and many different birds can be seen throughout the year, including cuckoos, yellowhammers, mallards, moorhens and whitethroats.’
    • ‘The adoption of intensive farming methods across Britain since the 1970s has put birds such as the skylark and the yellowhammer on the danger list, with numbers falling by 50% since 1977.’
    • ‘In the UK between 1970 and 1999 the skylark had declined by 52 per cent, the yellowhammer by 53 per cent and the corn bunting by 88 per cent.’
    • ‘The second half of the name yellowhammer is thought to derive from the German for bunting which is ‘ammer’, yellowhammers being the commonest of the buntings.’
    • ‘Together with the introduced species of chaffinch, goldfinch, yellowhammer, skylark, magpie, etc, they provide a tuneful accompaniment to your walk.’
    • ‘In this country, unless the weather is severe, the birds frequent open country associating with redwings, blackbirds and yellowhammers.’
    • ‘Permanent 6m grass margins ensure there are plenty of nesting sites and feeding areas for other birds such as whitethroats and yellowhammers.’
    • ‘The other day it took me half a minute to show a visitor the nest of a ‘scribbling lark’; the local country name for the yellowhammer.’
    • ‘Other birds facing tough times in Bradford include the house sparrow, the golden plover, the yellowhammer and the redshank.’
    • ‘They could also help birds on the decline such as yellowhammers and the grey partridge.’
    • ‘The data collection, which is being funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, has already taken place involving a variety of farmland birds, including skylarks and yellowhammers.’
    • ‘A pair of yellowhammers looked bleached in the bright sun, skylarks sang and settled in fallow or set-aside fields.’
    • ‘Songbirds such as the linnet, yellowhammer, skylark and song thrush to name but a few, are fast disappearing in our gardens and countryside.’


Mid 16th century: -hammer is perhaps from Old English amore (a kind of bird), possibly conflated with hama ‘feathers’.