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The females are much duller although they often show at least a hint of yellow, especially on the undertail coverts and the head is usually distinctly darker than the throat, creating a hooded effect which mimics the pattern of the male.
Otherwise they look like big, fairly long-bodied buntings with an obvious white eye-ring, rather sandy-brown plumage, a striking pale wing panel and a rich chestnut coloured rump. The lack of white outer-tail feathers also separates them from most other buntings.
 Similar Species
Female and immature birds are very similar to Red-headed Bunting.
Common in the south-east of the Western Palearctic, breeds on the east coast of the Adriatic from Slovenia to southern Greece, also in south Serbia and Macedonia, the Aegean coast of Greece and most islands, European Turkey, Bulgaria and north on the Black Sea coast to the Danube Delta. In Turkey breeds almost throughout (except north coast) and east to northern Iraq and Transcaucasia. Absent from the Caucasus but occurs further north from Crimea and eastern Sea of Azov east to the Caspian. Also breeds on Cyprus and in the Middle East south to northern Israel and west Jordan.
Migratory, leaving breeding areas late July-August and moving south-eastwards to winter in western India, returning late April-early May.
Frequent vagrant outside usual range and recorded throughout Europe north to Iceland, Scandinavia and Estonia, and west to Spain and North-West Africa. British records (c.166) mostly in May-June, also in July-October, the majority occur in Shetland, others well-scattered throughout Britain. Also recorded in the Channel Islands.
Scrub, open woodland.
The diet includes seeds; also invertebrates in breeding season.
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