Cinereous bunting

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Cinereous bunting
090508-cinereous-bunting-at-Petrified-Forest.jpg
Adult male
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Emberizidae
Genus: Emberiza
Species: E. cineracea
Binomial name
Emberiza cineracea
Brehm, 1855

The cinereous bunting (Emberiza cineracea) is a bird in the bunting family Emberizidae, a passerine family now separated by most modern authors from the finches, Fringillidae. This species was discovered by Hugh Edwin Strickland.

Range[edit]

It breeds in southern Turkey and southern Iran, and winters around the Red Sea in north-east Africa and Yemen. A few isolated populations just about maintain a foothold within European borders, on islands in the Aegean Sea.

Habitat[edit]

The cinereous bunting breeds on dry stony mountain slopes.

Description[edit]

The cinereous bunting is a large (16–17 cm), slim bunting with a long, white-cornered tail. The term cinereous describes its colouration. 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 south-west Turkey, the rest of the underparts are grey, but the eastern form E. c. semenowi has yellow 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.

Foraging and breeding[edit]

Like other buntings, the cinereous bunting feeds principally on seeds. It takes insects especially when feeding its young. Its normal clutch is three eggs.

Song[edit]

The call is a harsh tschrip, and the song is a hoarse zru- zru-zru-zru.

References[edit]