Pallas's reed bunting

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Pallas's reed bunting
Emberiza pallasi (10).jpg
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Emberizidae
Genus: Emberiza
Species: E. pallasi
Binomial name
Emberiza pallasi
(Cabanis, 1851)
Emberiza pallas MHNT

The Pallas's reed bunting (Emberiza pallasi) (also known as Pallas's bunting) is a passerine bird in the bunting family Emberizidae, a group now separated by most modern authors from the finches, Fringillidae.

It breeds across northern and central Asia across to Mongolia. It is a migrant, which winters in south east Asia. It is a very rare vagrant to western Europe, but has occurred as far west as Great Britain.

English comedian Bill Oddie identified the first bird in Britain.[citation needed]

It is common in tundra scrub by water, and also breeds in drier open areas such as open larch forest.

The Pallas's reed bunting is a small passerine bird, similar to a small reed bunting. It has a small seed-eater's bill. The male has a black head and throat, white neck collar and underparts, and a heavily streaked grey back (reed bunting has a browner back). The female is much duller, with a streaked brown head. It is less streaked below than female reed bunting.

The song of the cock is a repetitive sherp.

Its natural food consists of insects when feeding young, and otherwise seeds. The nest is in a bush. 2-5 eggs are laid, which show the hair-like markings characteristic of those of buntings.

This bird is named after the German zoologist Peter Simon Pallas.


  • One Flew into the Cuckoo's Egg by Bill Oddie