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Cinnamon-breasted Bunting - BirdForum Opus

Photo by Tichodroma
Namibia, December 2007
Emberiza tahapisi


13–15 cm (5-6 in), mass 15 g
Adult male: Head boldly striped black and white; mantle to upper tail coverts cinnamon with dark brown markings.Tail and flight feathers dark brown, edged cinnamon. Underparts cinnamon.
Adult female: Similar to the male, but paler; above less reddish.


First winter
Photo by ammadoux
Sallalh, Oman, August 2016

Africa south of the Sahara and the Middle East
Eastern Africa: Sudan, South Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Zambia, Mozambique and Malawi
Southern Africa: Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa, KwaZulu-Natal, Lesotho and Swaziland
Middle East: Arabian Peninsula: Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Socotra, Oman


Gosling's Bunting was formerly included in this species.


There are generally 5 subspecies recognised[1]:

  • E. t.arabica:
  • Southern Arabia (Asir to Hadhramaut)
  • E. t.insularis:
  • E. t.septemstriata:
  • E. t.tahapisi:
  • E. t.nivenorum:


Rocky hillsides and eroded areas and croplands, favoring patches of bare soil.


Some birds migrate but patterns of movement are not clear, others are resident. Solitary, in pairs, or in small groups.


Forages on the ground for seeds, fresh green leaves a wide variety of insects and nectar.


A pleasant twitter.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Avibase
  3. Hockey, PAR, WRJ Dean, and PG Ryan, eds. 2005. Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa. 7th ed. Cape Town: John Voelcker Bird Book Fund. ISBN 978-0620340533
  4. Fry H, Keith S,Woodcook M & Willis I. 2004. Birds of Africa Vol VII: Sparrows to Buntings. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0713665319
  5. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved August 2016)

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