Buntings are a group of mainly European seed-eating birds with stubby, conical bills.
They are found in the Old World (Europa, Asia, and Africa).
Bunting species are:
- Family: Emberizidae
- Crested Bunting, Melophus lathami: Found in Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Laos, Burma, Nepal, Pakistan, Thailand, and Vietnam.
- Genus Latoucheornis
- Slaty Bunting, Latoucheornis siemsseni : Endemic to China. This bird species inhabits subtropical or tropical moist shrubland.
- Genus Emberiza - true buntings
- Yellowhammer, Emberiza citrinella
- Pine Bunting, Emberiza leucocephalos
- Cirl Bunting Emberiza cirlus
- Tibetan Bunting, Emberiza koslowi: Endemic to China. Its natural habitat is boreal shrubland. The continued existence of this species is threatened by habitat destruction.
- Rock Bunting, Emberiza cia
- Godlewski's Bunting, Emberiza godlewskii: Found in China, India, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Myanmar, and Russia. Its natural habitat is temperate shrubland.
- Meadow Bunting or Siberian Meadow Bunting, Emberiza cioides: A passerine bird of eastern Asia which belongs to the genus Emberiza in the bunting family Emberizidae. It is 15 to 16.5 cm long. The male is mostly rufous-brown with dark streaks on the back. The boldly-patterned head is brown with white eyebrow, moustachial stripe and throat and grey sides to the neck. The outer tail-feathers are white and the legs are pinkish-brown. Females are similar but are duller and paler with a less well-defined head pattern. The song is a short, hurried phrase given from a prominent perch. The call is a series of up to four sharp notes. It breeds in southern Siberia, northern and eastern China, eastern Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Korea and Japan. It is fairly non-migratory but northern birds move south as far as southern China and Taiwan. There are several records from Europe but many of these are considered to be escapes from captivity rather than genuine vagrants. It occurs in dry, open habitats such as scrub, farmland, grassland and open woodland. The nest is built low in bushes or on the ground. Three to five eggs are laid and are incubated for 11 days. The young birds fledge after another 11 days. Pairs are monogamous and use the same area for breeding several years in a row.
- Rufous-backed Bunting, Emberiza jankowskii: Found in China, North Korea, and Russia. Its natural habitats are temperate shrubland and temperate grassland. The continued existence of this species is threatened by habitat destruction.
- Grey-hooded Bunting, Emberiza buchanani: Found in Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bhutan, China, Georgia, Hong Kong, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Oman, Pakistan, Russia, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. Its natural habitat is temperate grassland.
- Cinereous Bunting, Emberiza cineracea: The Cinereous Bunting is a bird in the bunting family Emberizidae, a passerine family now separated by most modern authors from the finches Fringillidae It breeds in southern Turkey and southern Iran, and winters around the Red Sea in northeast Africa and Yemen. Cinereous Bunting breeds on dry stony mountain slopes. Its normal clutch is three eggs. Cinereous Bunting is a large (16–17 cm), slim bunting with a long, white-cornered tail. It is less streaked than many buntings and has a thick pale bill. It has a greyish back with only subdued dark markings, and a browner tint to the wings. The adult male's head is dull yellow, with a brighter moustachial line and throat. In the nominate race of southwest Turkey, the rest of the underparts are also yellow, but the eastern form E. c. semenowi has grey underparts. Females are brownish grey above with a whitish throat and yellow only in the moustachial stripe. Young birds have a plain pale belly and streaking on the breast. The call is a harsh tschrip, and the song is a hoarse zru- zru-zru-zru. Cinereous Bunting feeds principally on seeds, like other buntings. It takes insects especially when feeding young.
- Ortolan Bunting, Emberiza hortulana
- Chestnut-breasted Bunting, Emberiza stewarti
- Cretzschmar's Bunting, Emberiza caesia
- House Bunting, Emberiza sahari
- Striolated Bunting, Emberiza striolata: The Striolated Bunting is a passerine bird in the bunting family Emberizidae, a group now separated by most modern authors from the finches, Fringillidae. It is a resident breeder of dry country from northeast Africa (northwest Kenya and Ethiopia north to southern Egypt), east through southwest Asia to northwestern India. It breeds in remote wadis (not around human habitation like the related House Bunting), usually close to streams, laying 2-4 eggs in a nest on the ground or in a hole in it. Its natural food consists of insects when feeding young, and otherwise seeds. It is 14cm long, similar in size to the House Bunting and smaller than the similarly plumaged Rock Bunting. The breeding male has a chestnut body, and grey head with darker streaking and a white supercilium (line above eye) and moustachial streak. The female's head has a brown tint to the grey, and more diffused streaking. The Striolated Bunting has stronger facial striping and a paler belly than the north African House Bunting, which used to be considered conspecific (of, or belonging to, the same species) as the subspecies E. striolata sahari. Birds in eastern Chad (E. striolata jebelmarrae) show some evidence of intergradation with House Bunting. The breeding range of the bird in India has been noted in recent times to include more southerly locations such as near Saswad, Pune. The incubation period of the clutch of 3 eggs is noted as 14 days. The song, given from a perch, is similar, but weaker than, that of the Chaffinch.
- Lark-like Bunting, Emberiza impetuani: Found in Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. This bird species inhabits subtropical or tropical dry shrubland.
- Cinnamon-breasted Bunting, Emberiza tahapisi: Found in Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ivory Coast, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Yemen, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Its natural habitats are dry savanna, subtropical or tropical dry shrubland, and subtropical or tropical dry lowland grassland.
- Socotra Bunting, Emberiza socotrana : Endemic to Yemen. This bird species inhabits subtropical or tropical high-altitude shrubland. The continued existence of this species is threatened by habitat destruction.
- Cape Bunting, Emberiza capensis : The Cape Bunting occurs in southern Africa from southwestern Angola, eastern Zambia, Zimbabwe and southern Tanzania to the Cape Its habitat is rocky slopes and dry weedy scrub, mainly in mountains in the north of its range. Its lined cup nest is built low in a shrub or tussock. The 2-4 eggs are cream and marked with red-brown and lilac. The Cape Bunting is 16cm long. The adult has a black crown, white supercilium (line above eye) and black-bordered white ear coverts (feathers covering the ears). The upperparts are grey brown with some dark streaks, and the wing-coverts are chestnut. The tail is darker chestnut, and the underparts are grey with a pale throat. The sexes are very similar, but females may have a buff tone to the white head markings. Young birds have duller chestnut wings, a less distinct head pattern, and heavier streaking extending on to the breast and flanks. There are a dozen subspecies, differing in plumage, but all have the distinctive head pattern and rufous in the wings. The northeastern race E. c. vincenti is very dark above, and slaty below. It has reduced chestnut on the wing coverts. It is sometimes raised to species status as Vincent's Bunting Emberiza vincenti. The Cape Bunting is not gregarious, and is normally seen alone, in pairs or family groups. It feeds on the ground on seeds, insects and spiders. The Cape Bunting’s call is an ascending zzoo-zeh-zee-zee. The song is a loud chirping chup chup chup chup chee chhep chu. E. c. vincenti has a simple tre-re-ret tre-re-ret song. This species previously utilized stony arid areas with some short grass, but much of this has been lost to ploughing.
- Ochre-rumped Bunting, Emberiza yessoensis: Found in China, Hong Kong, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, and Russia. Its natural habitats are temperate grassland and swamps. The continued existence of this species is threatened by habitat destruction.
- Tristram's Bunting, Emberiza tristrami: Found in China, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, Laos, Myanmar, Russia, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam. Its natural habitat is boreal forests.
- Chestnut-eared Bunting, Emberiza fucata: It is 15 to 16 cm in length. The plumage is mostly brown with dark streaks. The male has a grey crown and nape (back of the neck) with dark streaks, chestnut ear-coverts and bands of black and chestnut across the breast. There is a rufous patch on the shoulders and the rump is also rufous. Females are similar to the males but duller with a less distinct head and breast pattern. First-winter birds are plainer but show warm brown ear-coverts and have an obvious ring around the eye. Its voice is similar to the Rustic Bunting but quieter. The song is a rapid twittering which begins with staccato notes and then accelerates before ending with a distinctive two or three note phrase. The call is an explosive "pzick". The breeding range extends from the Himalayas locally across China to south-eastern Siberia, Korea and northern Japan. Northern birds migrate south to winter in southern Japan, southern China, Taiwan, north-east India and south-east Asia. The species is a vagrant to Kazakhstan and in October 2004 the first European record occurred at Fair Isle in Scotland. Preferred habitats include scrub, fields and grassland. The cup-shaped nest is built at ground level or low in a bush. Three to six eggs are laid with four being most common. These are whitish with reddish-brown speckling and are incubated for 12 days. The breeding season is variable, lasting from May to August in India, May to July in Honshū and June to August in Hokkaidō. There are three subspecies. The nominate subspecies E. f. fucata occupies the northern part of the range. E.f. arcuata is found in the Himalayas and south-west and central parts of China; it is darker with broader breastbands. The third subspecies E. f. kuatunensis lives in south-east China and is darker and more rufous above with narrower breastbands.
- Little Bunting, Emberiza pusilla
- Yellow-browed Bunting, Emberiza chrysophrys: The Yellow-Browed Bunting breeds in eastern Siberia, and is migratory, wintering in central and southern China. It is a very rare wanderer to western Europe. The Yellow-Browed Bunting breeds in the taiga zone, and lays four eggs in an arboreal nest. In the wild, the adults' diet consists of seeds, but they feed insects to nestlings. This bird is smaller than a Reed Bunting, but relatively large-headed. The upper parts are brown and heavily streaked, and the underparts are white with an orange hue on the flanks and some fine dark streaks. Their stout beaks are pink. The breeding male has a black head with white crown and moustachial stripes and throat. There is a bright yellow eyebrow stripe. Females and young birds have a weaker head pattern, with brown instead of black, and can be confused with Little Bunting; however, there is always some yellow in the eyebrow, as well as at least a hint of a white stripe on the crown.
- Rustic Bunting, Emberiza rustica
- Yellow-throated Bunting, Emberiza elegans
- Yellow-breasted Bunting, Emberiza aureola
- Golden-breasted Bunting, Emberiza flaviventris
- Somali Bunting, Emberiza poliopleura: Found in Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda. Its natural habitats are dry savanna and subtropical or tropical dry shrubland.
- Brown-rumped Bunting, Emberiza affinis: Found in Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sudan, Togo, and Uganda. This bird species inhabits subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests.
- Cabanis' Bunting, Emberiza cabanisi: Found in Angola, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical dry forests and dry savanna.
- Chestnut Bunting, Emberiza rutila: The Chestnut Bunting is a passerine bird of eastern Asia which belongs to the genus Emberiza in the bunting family Emberizidae. It is a fairly small bunting, 14 to 15 cm in length. The tail is fairly short with little or no white on the outer feathers. Breeding males have bright chestnut-brown upperparts and head. The breast and belly are yellow with streaks on the sides. Non-breeding males are similar but duller with the chestnut partly hidden by pale fringes to the feathers. The female is mostly dull brown with dark streaks above while the underparts are mainly pale yellow. The rump is dull chestnut and the throat is buff. The variable, high-pitched song is given from a perch low in a tree. The call is a short zick, similar to the call of the Little Bunting. It breeds in Siberia, northern Mongolia and north-eastern China. It is a long-distance migrant, wintering in southern China, South-east Asia and north-east India. There are a number of records from Europe but some of these are considered to be escapes from captivity rather than genuine vagrants. During the breeding season it inhabits open forest with plenty of ground cover and shrubs. Wintering and migrating birds occur in farmland, scrub and woodland edges.
- Black-headed Bunting, Emberiza melanocephala
- Red-headed Bunting, Emberiza bruniceps
- Yellow Bunting or Japanese Yellow Bunting, Emberiza sulphurata: This is a passerine bird of eastern Asia which belongs to the genus Emberiza in the bunting family Emberizidae. It is 14 cm long and has a conical, grey bill, pinkish-brown feet and brown eyes. The male is grey-green above with black streaks on the back. The underparts are yellow-green (brightest on the throat and belly) with streaks on the flanks. It has black lores (the regions between the eyes and bill on the side of a bird's head), a narrow black chin, a pale eyering and white outer tail-feathers. There are two bars on the wing, formed by pale tips to the median and greater wing-coverts. The female is similar to the male but paler without the black on the lores (the regions between the eyes and bill on the side of a bird's head) and chin. The species has a twittering song and a soft 'tsip' call. The breeding season lasts from mid May to early July. The nest is built low in a bush and three to five eggs are laid. The Yellow Bunting breeds only in Japan where it is uncommon. It is found mainly on the largest island Honshū but may also breed on Kyūshū and possibly bred on Hokkaidō in the past. It occurs in forest and woodland between 600 and 1500 metres above sea-level, mainly in the central and northern parts of Honshū. A few birds winter in the warmer regions of Japan but most migrate further south. It has been recorded from the Philippines, Taiwan, Hong Kong and south-east China at this season but is scarce everywhere. It occurs in woodland, scrub, grassland and farmland during winter. Small numbers pass though Korea on spring and autumn migration. The total population of the Yellow Bunting is small and decreasing and the species is classifed as Vulnerable by the IUCN. It is threatened by habitat loss, the use of pesticides and trapping for the cagebird industry.
- Black-faced Bunting, Emberiza spodocephala
- Grey Bunting, Emberiza variabilis: Found in China, Japan, South Korea, Russia, and the United States. Its natural habitats are boreal forests and temperate forests.
- Pallas' Reed Bunting, Emberiza pallasi: The Pallas's Reed Bunting breeds across northern and central Asia across to Mongolia. It is a migrant, which winters in south east Asia. It is a very rare vagrant to western Europe, but has occurred as far west as Great Britain. It is common in tundra scrub by water, and also breeds in drier open areas such as open larch forest. The Pallas's Reed Bunting is a small passerine bird, similar to a small Reed Bunting. It has a small seed-eater's bill. The male has a black head and throat, white neck collar and underparts, and a heavily streaked grey back (Reed Bunting has a browner back). The female is much duller, with a streaked brown head. It is less streaked below than female Reed Bunting. The song of the cock is a repetitive sherp. Its natural food consists of insects when feeding young, and otherwise seeds. The nest is in a bush. 2-5 eggs are laid, which show the hair-like markings characteristic of those of buntings. This bird is named after the German zoologist Peter Simon Pallas.
- Reed Bunting, Emberiza schoeniclus
- Genus Miliaria
- Corn Bunting, Miliaria calandra
- Genus Plectrophenax - arctic buntings
- Snow Bunting, Plectrophenax nivalis
- McKay's Bunting, Plectrophenax hyperboreus: The McKay's Bunting is most closely related to the Snow Bunting P. nivalis. There is only speculation about hybridization, no hybrids between the two species have been confirmed. The Plectrophenax buntings are nested within the Calcarius clade; their closest relatives are the longspurs. It breeds on two islands in the Bering Sea, St. Matthew and Hall islands, and winters on the western coast of the U.S. state of Alaska. The population of this species is estimated at less than 6,000 individuals. Although under no immediate threat, it is susceptible to devastation by any introduced rats, weasels or foxes, as well as rising sea levels due to climate change. The name of this bird honours the American naturalist Charles McKay.
Species Research by Sibylle Johnson
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