Distribution and habitat
It is a resident breeder of dry country from the Canary Islands, east through south-west Asia to north-western India.
It breeds in remote wadis (not around human habitation like the related house bunting), usually close to streams, laying two to four eggs in a nest on the ground or in a hole in the ground. Its natural food consists of seeds, or when feeding young, insects.
It is 14 cm long, similar in size to the house bunting and smaller than the similarly plumaged rock bunting. The breeding male has a chestnut body, and grey head with darker streaking and a white supercilium and moustachial streak. The female's head has a brown tint to the grey, and more diffused streaking.
The striolated bunting has stronger facial striping and a paler belly than the north African house bunting, which used to be considered conspecific as the subspecies E. striolata sahari. Birds in eastern Chad (E. striolata jebelmarrae) show some evidence of intergradation with the house bunting.
The song, given from a perch, is similar, but weaker than, that of the common chaffinch.
The breeding range of the bird in India has been noted in recent times to include more southerly locations such as near Saswad near Pune. The incubation period of the clutch of three eggs is 14 days.
- BirdLife International (2012). "Emberiza striolata". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.1. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 16 July 2012.
- 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
- Pande, S. Pawashe, A. & Joshi, V. 2006. Notes on the breeding of Striolated Bunting Emberiza striolata near Pune, Maharashtra. Indian Birds 2 (6): 153-156.
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