The British Trust for Ornithology
YELLOWHAMMER
Emberiza citrinella
Yellowhammer © Tommy Holden
 
Conservation listings

Unlisted/Green
Biodiversity Steering Group Conservation Concern List

Long-term trend
UK: Rapid decline
Farmland: Moderate decline
Woodland: Rapid decline
Scrub (CES): Rapid decline
Status summary
Yellowhammer abundance began to decline on farmland in the mid-1980s and the decline has continued ever since, the CBC trend being replicated in the CES and BBS results. The woodland CBC trend shows a longer-term decline, perhaps showing problems for the species in this secondary (possibly sink) habitat before they were apparent in the preferred farmland habitats. Whilst there is some evidence that survival rates have decreased during the period of decline, Yellowhammer breeding performance has tended to increase (Siriwardena et al. 1998b, 2000b). In addition to increases in clutch and brood size, nest failure rates have fallen: the proportion of nests failing at the egg stage (15 days, comprising 12 days incubation + 3 days laying) fell from 55% to 42%, and at the chick stage (12 days) from 44% to 39%. Overall the failure rates from egg laying to fledging fell from 75% to 64%; these values are relatively high, probably because later nests, which tend to be more successful (Kyrkos 1997), are under-represented in the NRS dataset. Such a factor is, however, unlikely to affect overall trends. Reductions in winter seed food availability as a result of agricultural intensification (for example, the loss of winter stubbles and a reduction in weed densities) are widely believed to have contributed to the population decline.
Table of population changes for Yellowhammer
Source Period
(yrs)
Years Plots
(n)
Change
(%)
Lower
limit
Upper
limit
Alert Comment
CBC all habitats 31 1968-1999 132 -53 -62 -41 >50  
  25 1974-1999 132 -54 -62 -47 >50  
  10 1989-1999 109 -39 -46 -33 >25  
  5 1994-1999 103 -16 -22 -8    
CBC farmland 31 1968-1999 75 -39 -52 -24 >25  
  25 1974-1999 73 -42 -53 -32 >25  
  10 1989-1999 68 -33 -42 -25 >25  
  5 1994-1999 65 -14 -21 -7    
CBC woodland 31 1968-1999 34 -76 -88 -63 >50  
  25 1974-1999 35 -76 -88 -63 >50  
  10 1989-1999 27 -60 -79 -39 >50  
  5 1994-1999 24 -33 -62 -7 >25  
CES adults 15 1984-1999 22 -62 . . [>50*]  
  10 1989-1999 24 -32 . . [>25*]  
  5 1994-1999 22 -24 . .    
CES juveniles 15 1984-1999 12 -73 . . [>50] Small sample
  10 1989-1999 12 -68 . . [>50] Small sample
  5 1994-1999 11 -43 . . [>25] Small sample
BBS UK 6 1994-2000 1003 -12 -16 -7    
BBS England 6 1994-2000 871 -13 -18 -9    
BBS Scotland 6 1994-2000 88 0 -17 20    
BBS Wales 6 1994-2000 37 -30 -50 -1 (>25) Small sample
The Breeding Bird Survey is jointly funded by BTO, JNCC and RSPB
Table of productivity information for Yellowhammer
Variable Period
(yrs)
Years Mean
annual
sample
Trend Predicted
in first year
Predicted
in last year
Change Comment
Clutch size 31 1968-1999 44 Linear increase 3.38 eggs 3.53 eggs 0.15 eggs  
Brood size 31 1968-1999 69 Curvilinear 2.96 chicks 3.15 chicks 0.19 chicks  
Daily failure rate (eggs) 31 1968-1999 66 Curvilinear 0.0519 nests/day 0.0353 nests/day -0.0166 nests/day  
Daily failure rate (chicks) 31 1968-1999 52 Curvilinear 0.0478 nests/day 0.0399 nests/day -0.0079 nests/day  
Laying date 31 1968-1999 27 Linear increase day 150 day 157 7 days Small sample
Percentage juveniles (CES) 15 1984-1999 25 Smoothed trend 108 productivity index 100 productivity index -7%  
Percentage juveniles (CES) 10 1989-1999 27 Smoothed trend 180 productivity index 100 productivity index -45%[>25]  
Percentage juveniles (CES) 5 1994-1999 25 Smoothed trend 91 productivity index 100 productivity index 10%  




Wider Countryside Home | BTO Home | JNCC Home

This report should be cited as:
Baillie, S.R., Crick, H.Q.P., Balmer, D.E., Beaven, L.P., Downie, I.S., Freeman, S.N., Leech, D.I., Marchant, J.H.,
Noble, D.G., Raven, M.J., Simpkin, A.P., Thewlis, R.M. and Wernham, C.V.
(2002) Breeding Birds in the Wider
Countryside: their conservation status 2001. BTO Research Report No. 278. BTO, Thetford. (http://www.bto.org/birdtrends)

Terms and Conditions of use
Privacy Statement


© British Trust for Ornithology
BTO, The Nunnery, Thetford, Norfolk IP24 2PU, UK. Registered Charity Number 216652
Tel: +44 (0)1842 750050 Fax: +44 (0)1842 750030 Email:

This page last updated: 21 April, 2008

Page created by Susan Waghorn