Little Bunting

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Emberiza Pusilla 

Little Bunting

Breeding Plumage:

Deep chestnut head, chin and upper throat, with a conspicuous buffy-white eyering.

Broad, dark, lateral crown stripe, and a narrow dark line extending from the rear eye and down around the chestnut cheeks.

Pale buff patch on the rear ear-coverts. The malar stripe is blackish.

The pale buff submoustachial stripe and rear eyebrow contrast with the deep chestnut head. There are some color variations depending on each individual.

The upperparts are grayish-brown with heavy dark streaking, but the rump shows more indistinct pattern. On the grayish-brown upperwing, the pale tips of median and greater coverts form two pale wingbars.

The flight feathers are dark brown with pale reddish edges. The tail is brown with pale edges to outermost rectrices.

The underparts are whitish-buff with conspicuous dark streaks on breast and flanks. The eyes are dark red-brown. Legs and feet are pinkish.

Non-breeding Plumage:

Similar to the breeding plumage but the head pattern differs slightly and shows paler feathers fringes.

Median crown-stripe, supercilium, submoustachial stripe and spot on the rear ear-coverts are buffish.

Lores and forehead are rufescent and the eyering is whitish.

On the upperparts, the feathers have broader pale fringes, whereas the underparts are darker buff, the belly is whitish and the streaking is more indistinct.

Males and females are similar.

Juveniles resemble adults but it is duller overall, including on the head. The mantle is mostly sandy-buff with dense black streaking.

The breast is yellowish-buff and heavily streaked too. The eyes are dark grey-brown.

BILL: dark gray with straight culmen and sharply pointed tip.

SIZE: small, measuring only about 4.7 - 5.5 inches in length.

WEIGHT: weighs about 12 - 19 grams.

COLOR: chestnut, buff, buffy-white, grayish- brown, dark-brown, yellowish-buff and black.

Seeds and invertebrates.

Open coniferous woodland, often with some birch or willow.

BREEDS: Northern Palearctic from Northeast Norway, Sweden, Finland and Northern Russia, East across Siberia and Russian Far East.

WINTER: North and Northeast Indian Subcontinent, Eastern to Northern and Central Myanmar, North Thailand, North Indochina and South China.

CALL: A distinctive "zik".

SONG: A rolling "siroo-sir-sir-siroo".

NEST: The female builds the nest made with dried leaves, grass, twigs, moss and hair, with a fine lining of softer grasses and moss.

It is placed on the ground, usually hidden in a clump of grass or low down in tree.

EGGS: 4 - 6 green, gray or pink eggs with dark markings.

INCUBATION: 11 - 12 days, female fed by male.

They forage primarily on the ground, but also glean food items from foliage and low vegetation.

They are monogamous.

Males are territorial during the breeding season, and usually guard their mate during the egg-laying period.

Little Bunting




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