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Cinereous Bunting - BirdForum Opus

Photo by john-henry
Lesvos, May 2004
Emberiza cineracea

Identification

16–17 cm
Male - dull yellow head, bright yellow moustache and throat, grey back, grey underparts, brownish wings, long white cornered tail, thick pale bill.
Female - brownish grey above, white throat, yellow moustache.

The males are distinctive thanks to a greeny yellow head much plainer than in other male buntings. The birds in eastern Turkey are of a different race in which the yellow extends down the underparts as far as the undertail. Females and first winter birds are dull and streaky with an obvious white eye-ring so could be confused with Ortolan or Cretzschmar's Buntings. However, they tend to be less prominently streaked, especially below, and the females often have a distinct yellow tinge to the throat. The most important clinching feature, though, is that the bill of a Cinereous Bunting is always dull grey rather than pinkish.

Subspecies semenowi
Photo by fotoemin
Nemrut Dagi, Adiyaman, Turkey

Distribution

Southern Turkey, southern Iran, winters in northeast Africa and Yemen.

Taxonomy

There are 2 subspecies.[1]

  • E. c. cineracea:
  • Arid rocky slopes of western and southern Turkey
  • E. c.a semenowi:

Habitat

Rocky mountain slopes with scrub.

Behaviour

Diet

The diet includes seeds and insects.

Breeding

Three eggs are laid.

Vocalisation

Call: harsh tschrip; song: zru- zru-zru-zru

References

  1. Clements, JF. 2008. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to December 2008. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019.
  2. Wikipedia

Recommended Citation

External Links


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