|On the island of Heligoland in the North Sea|
The little bunting (Emberiza pusilla) is a passerine bird belonging to the bunting and American sparrow family (Emberizidae), a group most modern authors separate from the true finches (Fringillidae).
This is a small bunting, measuring only 12–14 cm (4.7–5.5 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. The 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 north-east of Europe and northern Asia. It is migratory, wintering in the subtropics in northern India, southern China and the northern parts of south-east Asia. The birds remain in their winter quarters for quite long; specimens were taken in Yunnan in late March. It is a rare vagrant to western Europe. This species is adaptable; in the mountains of Bhutan for example, where small numbers winter, it is typically found in an agricultural habitat, mostly between 1,000 and 2,000 metres (3,300 and 6,600 ft) ASL.
- BirdLife International (2012). "Emberiza pusilla". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
- Byers, Olsson & Curson (1995), p. 154.
- Byers, Olsson & Curson (1995), p. 156.
- Jobling, James A. (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London, United Kingdom: Christopher Helm. pp. 145, 325. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
- Bangs, Outram (1932). "Birds of western China obtained by the Kelley-Roosevelts expedition". Field Mus. Nat. Hist. Zool. Ser. 18 (11): 343–379.
- Inskipp, Carol; Inskipp, Tim; Sherub (2000). "The ornithological importance of Thrumshingla National Park, Bhutan" (PDF). Forktail. 16: 147–162.
- Byers, Clive; Olsson, Urban; Curson, Jon (1995). Buntings and Sparrows: A Guide to the Buntings and North American Sparrows. Mountfield, East Sussex, UK: Pica Press. ISBN 1-873403-19-4.
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