A resident bird in the UK, Reed Buntings are typically confined to wet vegetation habitats, but have recently colonised farmland. Males perch on the top of a reed or bush when singing.
Long-tailed, slim and sparrow-sized, in winter males and females look alike, with brown, black and buff streaks on the back and head and pale cream underparts, lines with black. In summer, the males have black heads, white collars and white, drooping ‘moustaches’. In flight, both sexes have white-edged, black tails.
The typical lifespan of a Reed Bunting is 3 years; however, the oldest recorded bunting was 9 years, 11 months and 18 days old.