The Yellowhammer Bird (male) is bright yellow on the head and underparts, with a few dark markings on the head, a rusty-brown wash on the breast and streaks down the flanks. The upperparts are rich brown streaked with black, and in all plumages it shows a rich red-brown rump and uppertail, and white outer feathers on a longish tail. In winter the male is duller, with less yellow on the head and streakier overall. The female is washed with a paler yellow on the head and underparts, and is more streaky, with a darker crown and cheeks.
Yellowhammer Bird is a common resident across much of Europe, with some northern birds moving south in winter. It is typically found in farmland with edgerows, woodland edge, open bushy country, heaths, wooded pastures and shrubby hillsides. In winter it can often be found in flocks in stubble fields and other open areas.
The typical contact call note of Yellowhammer Bird is a dry and rather harsh, slightly downward-inflected "djou", or a similar even-toned "djih". It also gives some dry clicking notes, often in flight or when disturbed, such as "tit'tit'tit tic'atic", sometimes accelerated into a trilling sound, and a more liquid "trrp-trrp" when flying together in a flock. The alarm note is a thin "see". The song is familiar to many, and in Britain is traditionally rendered as 'a-little-bit-of-bread-and-no-cheese'. It is a simple rattling repetition of a single note, repeated 10-15 times, accelerating and rising slightly in both pitch and volume before being finished off with a higher drawn-out terminal note, such as "dji'dji'dj i'dji'dji'dji'dji'dji'dji'dji-shjeeee". The song phrase lasts for 1.8-2.5 seconds and is often followed by a high descending "tseeoo". Variations occur, and songsters may regularly omit the terminal "shjeeee" note.