Yellow-breasted Bunting (Emberiza aureola)

Yellow-breasted Bunting

[order] PASSERIFORMES | [family] Emberizidae | [latin] Emberiza aureola | [UK] Yellow-breasted Bunting | [FR] Bruant des saules | [DE] Weidenammer | [ES] | [NL] Wilgegors


Monotypic species


Physical charateristics

Rather small but robust bunting, with spiky bill and rather short tail contributing to flight silhouette suggestive of Fringilla. En all plumages, ground-color of little-streaked underparts yellowish, outer tail-feathers show white.
Adult male has narrow black-brown necklace, rich brown back, white lesser and median coverts, and whitish wing-bar, front of head and throat black when breeding.
Female and immature have heavily striped head, broadly streaked back, double whitish wing-bar, and streaked flanks.
Call assists separation from other large Emberiza. Sexes dissimilar, some seasonal variation.

Listen to the sound of Yellow-breasted Bunting

[audio: Bunting.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 21 cm wingspan max.: 24 cm
size min.: 14 cm size max.: 15 cm
incubation min.: 13 days incubation max.: 14 days
fledging min.: 11 days fledging max.: 14 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 4  
      eggs max.: 5  


Eurasia : North, East


In west Palearctic breeds in boreal zone. Favours moist or wet, often riverside or floodland sites, with willow and birch thickets or spinneys, interspersed with tall grass. Occurs in low-lying wet or dry meadows with tall herbage and scattered shrubs, riverside thickets and shrubby willows in river flood zones, fields and boggy areas with secondary scrub, open burnt forest, mountain meadows with scrub and scattered trees, birch forest edge, and sparse growth of young forest.


Mid June to early July in Finland, June in Moscow range.
Nest site is on the ground, either on tussock, in dry depression, nest-rim at times flush with ground, sheltered by scrub, commonly birch or willow, or in tree roots, where wet, often slightly above ground in bush or stout herb.
Nest, foundation of dry grass and stalks lined with soft grass, rootlets, and sometimes hair. Clutch range from 4 to 5, incubation done by both parents lasts 13 to 14 days.

Feeding habits

Seeds and other plant material, invertebrates in breeding season.


This species has been uplisted to Vulnerable because, although it remains abundant locally, anecdotal evidence suggests that overall it has undergone a very rapid population decline owing mainly to trapping on wintering grounds. A program of co-ordinated range-wide monitoring of this species is sorely needed in order to validate the precautionarily suspected rapid declines.
In Nederland in 1995 waargenomen en geaccepteerd
Yellow-breasted Bunting status Vulnerable


Paleartic breeding range from Finland, Belarus to Ukraine. Winters from Nepal and ne Indian sub-continent e to se Asia, s China and Taiwan. (Sibley Charles G. 1996)

Distribution map

Yellow-breasted Bunting distribution range map

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