Little Bunting

The Little Bunting (Emberiza pusilla), is a bird in the bunting family Emberizidae. It is found across the taiga of the far northeast of Europe and northern Asia. It is migratory, wintering in the subtropics in northern India, southern China and the northern parts of southeast Asia. It is a rare wanderer to western Europe.

This is a small bunting, averaging 5 inches in length. It has a heavily streaked brown back and white underparts with fine dark streaking. With its chestnut face and white malar stripe, it resembles a small female Reed Bunting, but has black crown stripes, a white eye-ring, and a fine dark border to the rear of its chestnut cheeks. Sexes are similar.

It breeds in open coniferous woodland, often with some birch or willow. 4-6 eggs are laid in a tree nest. Its natural food consists of insects when feeding young, and otherwise seeds. The call is a distinctive zik, and the song is a rolling siroo-sir-sir-siroo.

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