One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A 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.’
- ‘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 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.’
- ‘Other birds facing tough times in Bradford include the house sparrow, the golden plover, the yellowhammer and the redshank.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘Permanent 6m grass margins ensure there are plenty of nesting sites and feeding areas for other birds such as whitethroats and yellowhammers.’
- ‘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 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.’
- ‘Together with the introduced species of chaffinch, goldfinch, yellowhammer, skylark, magpie, etc, they provide a tuneful accompaniment to your walk.’
- ‘They could also help birds on the decline such as yellowhammers and the grey partridge.’
- ‘Songbirds such as the linnet, yellowhammer, skylark and song thrush to name but a few, are fast disappearing in our gardens and countryside.’
- ‘Waders such as redshank and spoonbills, have begun to proliferate, and numbers of larks, linnets, yellowhammers and reed bunting have grown.’
- ‘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 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.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘A pair of yellowhammers looked bleached in the bright sun, skylarks sang and settled in fallow or set-aside fields.’
- ‘In this country, unless the weather is severe, the birds frequent open country associating with redwings, blackbirds and yellowhammers.’
- ‘Through the glass door to the step outside, two dozen yellowhammers and sparrows picked up seeds thrown on the snowy concrete.’
Mid 16th century: -hammer is perhaps from Old English amore (a kind of bird), possibly conflated with hama ‘feathers’.
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