The incidence of return to their breeding grounds by the Reed Bunting Emberiza schoeniclus was investigated in western Hokkaido during six seasons (1997-2002). During this survey period, a total of 1, 568 individuals (508 adults, 411 juveniles and 639 nestlings) were given leg bands in the breeding season (Apr. 1-Sept. 10). A total of 150 birds were recaptured after one year, indicating the estimated minimum return rate in the next year as being 9.57%. The return rate dropped exponentially over subsequent years, falling to 1% or less 4-5 years later. The rate of return after one year in adult birds, juveniles and nestlings was 14.37%, 10.22% and 5.48%, respectively. There was no difference in the rate of return between adult males and females. It is conceivable that the true return rate may be higher than our estimates, because not all the returned individuals were necessarily captured by the end of this survey period.