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Corn Bunting - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by john_henry
Location: Lesvos
Emberiza calandra

Miliaria calandra


Largest of the buntings

  • Light buffy-brown upperparts with darker streaks
  • Paler rump
  • Whitish underparts with streaked breast
  • Longish forked tail (no white on sides)
  • Thick, dark-ridged buff bill
  • Pale eye-ring


Photo © by targetman
Lincolnshire, July 2010

Widespread and still fairly common over much of the Region but has declined dramatically in some areas of North-West Europe and Scandinavia and Britain in particular.

Breeds in the British Isles (scarce in the north and west and in Ireland), and from western France and Iberia east across Europe to Belarus, Ukraine and southern Russia to the Caspian, but absent from major mountain ranges. In the north breeds in Denmark but very rare in southern Sweden, more common in Poland.

In the south breeds on the Balearics, Corsica and Sardinia, much of Italy and Sicily, southern Greece, Crete, Cyprus and Turkey, the Caucasus and northern Iraq. Also breeds in the Middle East south to northern Israel, in North Africa in Cyrenaica and from central Morocco to northern Tunisia and on the Canary Islands (although absent from Lanzarote and Fuerteventura).


This is now considered a monotypic species[1].


Open country with trees, roadside hedges, wetlands, farmland and scrubby areas.



Males are Polygynous, and may have up to three females each. The females take sole charge of nest building and care of the young.


Song: delivered from a perch and has been likened to jangling keys, or breaking glass

Video of singing bird


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2019. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World: v2019. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Birdwatchers Pocket Guide ISBN 1-85732-804-3
  3. Cyprus Wildlife

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