Emberiza striolata sahari
It is a resident breeder of dry country from northwestern Africa from Morocco south to Mali and east to Chad. The House Bunting breeds around human habitation, laying 2–4 eggs in a nest in a hole in a wall or building. Its natural food consists of insects when feeding young, and otherwise seeds.
It is 14 cm long, similar in size to the Striolated Bunting and smaller than the Rock Bunting. The breeding male has a sandy orange-brown body and a grey head slightly dark-streaked but without the white supercilium that the Striolated Bunting has. The female's head has a brown tint to the grey, and more diffused streaking.
The House Bunting has recently been split from the closely related Striolated Bunting, of which it used to be treated as a subspecies, Emberiza striolata sahari. The Striolated Bunting has stronger facial striping and a paler belly than the House Bunting.
The incubation period of the clutch of 3 eggs is noted as 12–14 days.
The song, given from a perch, is similar to, but weaker than, that of the Common Chaffinch.
In Morocco, the species is traditionally regarded as sacred, and has become very tame, freely entering and feeding inside houses, shops and mosques.
- Emberiza sahari on Avibase
- Byers, C., Olsson, U., & Curson, J. (1995). Buntings and Sparrows. Pica Press ISBN 1-873403-19-4.
- Collinson, M. (2006). Splitting headaches? Recent taxonomic changes affecting the British and Western Palearctic lists. British Birds 99 (6): 306-323.
- Kirwan, Guy M. and Hadoram Shirihai (2007) Species limits in the House Bunting complex Dutch Birding 29(1): 1-19
- Snow, D. W. & Perrins, C. M. (1998). The Birds of the Western Palearctic Concise Edition. OUP ISBN 0-19-854099-X.
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