Bearded Reedling

Bearded Reedling

This species is a wetland specialist, breeding colonially in large reed beds by lakes or swamps. They are mainly found in temperate Europe and Asia. According to the RSPB there are 630 breeding pairs in the UK (mainly found in parts of South and East England). In Europe, the breeding population is estimated to number 232,000-437,000 pairs. 

Zoo Diet

Our bearded reedlings have insect heavy diet in summer and seed heavy diet (e.g. millet) in winter.

Wild Diet

Insects, insect larvae, spiders and seeds.


They are brown, long-tailed birds, usually seen flying rapidly across the top of a reedbed. They are sociable and noisy, with their 'ping' calls often being the first clue to their presence.


In the wWestern Palearctic (Europe, Middle East and North Africa), the reedling breeds from late March to early September. Both sexes build the nest which is a deep cup-shaped structure of dead reed blades and other marsh-plant leaves, lined with flowering reed-heads and often also feathers and occasionally mammal hair. Clutches are most commonly four to eight eggs.


The overall population trend is difficult to determine as some populations are increasing and others decreasing, and populations are subject to considerable fluctuations. 
In some areas such as Turkey, the breeding population is thought to be decreasing owing to the drainage of marshland habitat. Declines have also been reported in the Netherlands as a result of habitat loss, which may also occur due to reed cutting. The species is also noted for its sensitivity to severe cold winters.


This species is protected in the UK under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981.
There are currently no known conservation measures for this species within Europe. 
This species will use nestboxes, particularly when nest sites are in short supply. The maintenance of reedbeds large enough to sustain populations of this species is necessary and new reedbeds should be created.

Bearded Reedling Bearded Reedling


  • Latin Name: Panurus biarmicus
  • Class: Birds
  • Conservation Status: Least Concern
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