Cretzschmars Bunting (Emberiza caesia)

Cretzschmars Bunting

[order] PASSERIFORMES | [family] Emberizidae | [latin] Emberiza caesia | [UK] Cretzschmars Bunting | [FR] Bruant cendrillard | [DE] Grauortolan | [ES] Escribano Ceniciento | [NL] Bruinkeelortolan


Monotypic species

Physical charateristics

Averages slightly smaller than Ortolan Bunting. Close counterpart of Ortolan Bunting, with similar structure and almost identical plumage pattern. Adult differs most in pure grey head and breast-band and orange-chestnut throat.
Sexes dissimilar, little seasonal variation.

Listen to the sound of Cretzschmars Bunting

[audio: Bunting.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 25 cm wingspan max.: 27 cm
size min.: 15 cm size max.: 17 cm
incubation min.: 12 days incubation max.: 13 days
fledging min.: 0 days fledging max.: 13 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 4  
      eggs max.: 5  


Eurasia : Southwest


Breeds in east Mediterranean region in warm temperate climate, mainly not far from sea. Occurs on rocky hillsides and islands among sparse herbage, with some shrub or tree growth, usually below C 1300 m. While overlapping with Ortolan Bunting, tends to spread more onto drier and more barren rocky slopes, being ecologically intermediate between those buntings in separable from vegetation cover and those preferring bare open ground or rocks.


Breeding starts mid April in Greece, April in Cyprus, March to mid July in Israel. Nest site is on ground, often in depression, sheltered by rocks and vegetation, at times within roots of shrub, though frequently quite visible. Usually on slope, and commonly under rock-rose. Nest is a foundation of stalks, roots, and grass, thickly lined with rootlets and hair. On slope, rear wall can be formed by rock or earth. Clutch ranges from 4 to 5 eggs, incubation 12-13 days, by female.

Feeding habits

Seeds and small invertebrates. Feeds almost exclusively on ground and said to be probably most terrestrial of Emberizidae of region. On passage in Arabia and Israel forages in flocks of a few hundred with Cinereous Bunting and Ortolan Bunting on rocky slopes, in stubble, and in other cultivated areas bordering desert, also in gardens.


This species has a very large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is very large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Cretzschmars Bunting status Least Concern


Winters in Arabia (possibly) and extreme ne Africa in the Sudan and Egypt to Eritrea. (Sibley Charles G. 1996)

Distribution map

Cretzschmars Bunting distribution range map

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