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Pine Bunting

From Opus

Photo by pauxN. Xinjiang, China
Photo by paux
N. Xinjiang, China
Emberiza leucocephalos


[edit] Identification

Photo by Dave HawkinsChosely, Norfolk, March 2004
Photo by Dave Hawkins
Chosely, Norfolk, March 2004

16-17.5cm (6ΒΌ-7 in)

  • White crown and cheeks
  • Chestnut forehead and throat with dark streaks

Female is duller and is more streaked on undersides
Seems to be rather variable in extent of white versus rufous in the head

[edit] Similar species

Female , Summer PlumagePhoto © by Houman Doroudi (Tormtay)Lar National Park, Mazandaran Province, Iran, May 2017
Female , Summer Plumage
Photo © by Houman Doroudi (Tormtay)
Lar National Park, Mazandaran Province, Iran, May 2017

Female Yellowhammer usually has yellow tones, but on a few, these may be very faint and therefore difficult to separate. To identify female Pine Bunting (which should look more contrasting overall), look especially that

  • outer edges of primaries are white
  • outer edges of outer tail feathers are white (especially proximal part)
  • lower belly white without yellow or golden tones
  • underwing coverts are white without any yellow
  • no yellow or olive-green tones to the plumage
  • tendency for two-toned bill, paler on lower than upper mandible

On both sexes, note that the rump is more brownish lacking the orange tone to the rufous that many Yellowhammer shows.

[edit] Distribution

Asia: found from Siberia to north India and southern China.

Accidental vagrant to Alaska with 2 records.

[edit] Taxonomy

[edit] Subspecies

There are 2 subspecies[1]:

  • E. l. leucocephalos:
  • E. l. fronto:
  • North-western China (Kokonor region of north-eastern Qinghai to north-western Gansu)

[edit] Habitat

Open pine forests; fields with hedges, scrub or trees.

[edit] Behaviour

[edit] Diet

During the breeding season, their diet consists mostly of insects and invertebrates such as grasshoppers, caterpillars and beetles, with seeds the remainder of the year.

[edit] Breeding

The clutch consists of 4-6 eggs. The nest is a woven cup built by the female. There are usually two broods.

[edit] References

  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
  2. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved October 2016)
  3. Wikipedia

[edit] External Links


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