At the recent 29th Spanish Ornithology Congress, the members of the Spanish Ornithology Society/BirdLife elected the Reed Bunting, Emberiza schoeniclus, as the Bird of the Year 2009.
Known in Spanish as Escribano palustre (Marsh scrivener), the sparrowlike bird was selected to highlight the importance that small birds have in ecosystems, although they are often overlooked.
Three subspecies live in Spain, and all are endangered. They live in marshy areas and eat insects and seeds, but modern drainage practices, pesticides, and monoculture farming have reduced their habitats to small, fragmented areas. Only 400 nesting pairs live in Spain.
More information (in Spanish) and previous Birds of the Year: