Rustic Bunting

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Emberiza Rustica 

Rustic Bunting

Breeding Plumage:

Males have usually reddish-brown with blackish streaks mantle and upperparts, and reddish nape and neck sides.

The tail is dark brown with white inner webs on the two outermost pairs of rectrices.

On the upperwing, two white wingbars are formed by the pale tips of the dark brown median and greater coverts.

The dark brown flight-feathers show pale to rufous-brown edges.

The underparts are white, including chin and throat, but there is a conspicuous reddish V-shaped breastband. The flanks are variably streaked reddish.

The crown is black with a white spot on the rear center. There is a conspicuous white supercilium, extending from above the eye to the nape.

Lores and ear-coverts are black with a white spot on the rear of ear-coverts.

There is a broad, white submoustachial stripe extending to below the ear-coverts, and a weak, indistinct, black malar stripe.

The crown feathers are sometimes slightly raised, forming a short-pointed crest.

The pointed bill is dark gray with a pinkish base of lower mandible. The eyes are dark chestnut-brown. Legs and feet are pinkish to flesh.

Females resemble the breeding male but are duller overall. On the head, the dark areas are mostly chestnut-brown, and breastband and flanks are tinged dark brown.

They have a more mottled rump, and the pale wingbars are mostly creamy-white.

First winter males and females resemble non-breeding adults, but differ in iris color that is duller, and pointed rectrices.

Juveniles resemble first winter females but have more streaked breast and dark gray-brown eyes.

BILL: dark-gray with a pinkish base of the lower mandible, pointed.

SIZE: measures about 6 inches in length, with a wingspan of 9 inches.

WEIGHT: weighs about 15 - 24 grams.

COLOR: reddish-brown, dark-brown, rufous-brown, black, white, and buff.

Feeds primarily on seeds, but during the breeding season, they will also feed on insects and other small invertebrates.

Open coniferous woodland, often with some birch or willow.

BREEDS: Northern Europe and Asia.

WINTER: Japan, eastern China, and elsewhere in Southeast Asia.

CALL: A short, sharp “zit” or a softer “tsik” often repeated at short intervals.

The alarm call is a penetrating, thin “tseee” generally uttered on the breeding grounds.

SONG: A clear, thin, rather mournful but melodious warbling “Dudeleu Dii-dah deluu- delee”. This song is often given from treetop.

NEST: The female builds a cup-shaped structure made of grass, stems, moss, leaves and conifer needles.

The cup is lined with softer materials including finer grass, hair and feathers.

EGGS: 4 - 5 pale blue or green eggs with darker markings.

INCUBATION: 11 - 13 days, both sexes but mainly by the female.

Most of their foraging is done on the ground. During the summer breeding season, they will also glean insects from vegetation, moving deliberately through shrubs and other low plants.

Rustic Bunting Infographic






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