Little bunting

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Little bunting
Little Bunting.jpg
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Emberizidae
Genus: Emberiza
Species: E. pusilla
Binomial name
Emberiza pusilla
Pallas, 1776

The little bunting (Emberiza pusilla) is a passerine bird. It belongs to the bunting and American sparrow family (Emberizidae), a group separated by most modern authors from the true finches (Fringillidae).


This is a small bunting at 12–13.5 centimetres (4.7–5.3 in) in length. It has a heavily streaked brown back and white underparts with fine dark streaking. With its chestnut face and white malar stripe, it resembles a small female Reed Bunting, but has black crown stripes, a white eye-ring, and a fine dark border to the rear of its chestnut cheeks. Sexes are similar.

The call is a distinctive zik, and the song is a rolling siroo-sir-sir-siroo.


The Little Bunting breeds across the taiga of the far northeast of Europe and northern Asia. It is migratory, wintering in the subtropics in northern India, southern China and the northern parts of southeast Asia.[citation needed] The birds remain in their winter quarters for quite long; specimens were taken in Yunnan in late March.[2] It is a rare vagrant to western Europe.[citation needed] This species is adaptable; in the mountains of Bhutan for example, where small numbers winter, it is typically found in agricultural habitat, mostly between 1,000 and 2,000 metres (3,300 and 6,600 ft) ASL.[3]

It breeds in open coniferous woodland, often with some birch or willow. 4–6 eggs are laid in a tree nest. Its natural food consists of insects when feeding young, and otherwise seeds.

A common and widely-ranging species, it is not considered threatened on the IUCN Red List.[4]


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Emberiza pusilla". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Bangs (1932)
  3. ^ Inskipp et al. (2000)
  4. ^ BirdLife International (2008)


External links[edit]

  • OBC 29 photographs (see pulldown menu at page bottom)