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Reed Bunting

From Opus

MalePhoto by Richard FordFarlington Marshes, Hampshire, April 2003
Photo by Richard Ford
Farlington Marshes, Hampshire, April 2003

Alternative name: Common Reed Bunting

Emberiza schoeniclus


[edit] Identification

14-16.5 cm (5½-6½ in)
Breeding Male Black head and throat, white neck collar and underparts, heavily streaked brown back, deeply notched tail with white edges.
In winter the black is obscured by rufous-buff edging.
The female and immature are much duller, though still heavily streaked, lacking the black head and white collar. A buff supercilium.
Legs reddish brown to black. Bill is dark and in most populations is small.

[edit] Similar species

FemalePhoto by postcardcvTitchwell Marsh RSPB, January 2006
Photo by postcardcv
Titchwell Marsh RSPB, January 2006

Pallas's Bunting from eastern Siberia looks similar. However it's smaller, longer-tailed, the plumage is generally paler and it has a pale rump.

[edit] Distribution

Europe and northern Asia.

[edit] Taxonomy

[edit] Subspecies

Photo by targetmanLincolnshire UK June 2008
Photo by targetman
Lincolnshire UK June 2008
Subspecies pyrrhulinaPhoto by katastrofaYatsu-higata mudflats, Tokyo, Japan, March 2018
Subspecies pyrrhulina
Photo by katastrofa
Yatsu-higata mudflats, Tokyo, Japan, March 2018

There are 15 subspecies[1]:

  • E. s. schoeniclus: British Isles and north-western Europe to central Russia; winters to North Africa
  • E. s. witherbyi: Southern Portugal, coastal western Spain, France, Balearic Islands and Sardinia
  • E. s. intermedia: Italy and Sicily to southern Ukraine, Crimea and north-eastern Turkey
  • E. s. reiseri: Albania, Macedonia, and northern Greece
  • E. s. caspia: Eastern Caucasus to western and southern Iran, Syria, adjacent south-eastern Turkey and north-eastern Iraq
  • E. s. korejewi: Eastern Iran
  • E. s. pyrrhuloides: Caspian Sea to Kazakhstan, western Xinjiang and western Mongolia
  • E. s. passerina: North-western Siberia; winters to northern Xinjiang, Mongolia and northern Iran
  • E. s. parvirostris: Central Siberia and northern Mongolia; winters to northern China
  • E. s. pyrrhulina: Transbaikalia to Kamchatka, Kuril Island, Sakhalin, Hokkaido
  • E. s. pallidior: South-western Siberia; winters Caucasus to north-western India and Mongolia
  • E. s. minor: South-eastern Siberia and adjacent Manchuria
  • E. s. ukrainae: Southern Russia to northern Ukraine and Volga River; winters to Caucasus
  • E. s. incognita: Russia east of Volga to southern Urals, northern Kazakhstan; winters to north-western China
  • E. s. zaidamensis: Western China (Tsaidam basin in northern Qinghai)

[edit] Habitat

Breeds in almost any kind of marshy place: reedbeds, river banks etc but in winter will be found on farmland, particularly stubble fields.

[edit] Behaviour

Forms mixed flocks in winter with other buntings and finches.

[edit] Flight

Erratic bursts of wing-beats.

[edit] Diet

Their diet consists mostly of seeds and other plant material with the addition of insects when feeding young.

[edit] Breeding

They lay 4-7 eggs in a nest which is built in a bush or reeds

[edit] Vocalisation

Song: repetitious "tseek, tseek, tseek, tissick".

Listen in an external program

[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. Birdwatchers Pocket Guide ISBN 1-85732-804-3
  3. Collins Pocket Guide to British Birds 1966
  4. Collins Field Guide 5th Edition
  5. Wikipedia

[edit] External Links


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