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Encyclopedia > Cirl Bunting
Cirl Bunting
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Emberizidae
Genus: Emberiza
Species: cirlus
Binomial name
Emberiza cirlus
Linnaeus, 1766

The Cirl Bunting, Emberiza cirlus, is a passerine bird in the bunting family Emberizidae, a group now separated by most modern authors from the finches, Fringillidae.

It breeds across southern Europe, on the Mediterranean islands and in north Africa. It is a resident of these warmer areas, and does not migrate in winter. It is common in all sorts of open areas with some scrub or trees, but has a preference for sunny slopes. Changes in agricultural practice have affected this species very adversely at the northern fringes of its range, and in England, where it once occurred over much of the south of the country, it is now restricted to south Devon.

The Cirl Bunting is like a small Yellowhammer, 15-16.5 cm in length with a thick seed-eater's bill. The male has a bright yellow head, with a black eyestripe and throat, and a greenish breast band across its otherwise yellow underparts, and a heavily streaked brown back. The female is much more like the Yellowhammer, but has a streaked grey-brown rump and chestnut shoulders.

The monotonous song of the cock is rattling trill, like Arctic Warbler or Lesser Whitethroat.

Its natural food consists of insects when feeding young, and otherwise seeds. The nest is on the ground. 2-5 eggs are laid, which show the hair-like markings characteristic of those of buntings.

  Results from FactBites:
Untitled Document (602 words)
Bunting is a medieval word meaning ‘plump', Cirl Buntings definitely have a plumpish appearance especially in winter when their feathers are permanently fluffed up for better insulation.
Cirl Buntings eat seeds for most of the year and grasshoppers over the summer, hence their stout, strong beaks the backs of which are specially shaped for crunching seeds and their huge great feet to scratch around and find seeds on the ground.
Cirl Buntings used to be very common in the South of England and farmers called it ‘the farmyard bunting'.
Cirl bunting project - The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (1739 words)
The cirl (pronounced sirl) bunting is a small finch-like bird that is a close cousin of the yellowhammer.
Cirl buntings are birds of mixed farmland and the loss of sources of food (both winter and summer) and nesting sites was identified as the major reason for the cirl buntings dramatic decline.
Cirl buntings are very sedentary and are unlikely to move more than 2 km between wintering and breeding areas, usually much less.
  More results at FactBites »



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