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Cinereous Bunting - BirdForum Opus

Photo by john-henry
Lesvos, May 2004
Emberiza cineracea


16–17 cm
Male - dull yellow head, bright yellow moustache and throat, grey back, grey underparts, brownish wings, long white cornered tail, thick pale bill.
Female - brownish grey above, white throat, yellow moustache.

The males are distinctive thanks to a greeny yellow head much plainer than in other male buntings. The birds in eastern Turkey are of a different race in which the yellow extends down the underparts as far as the undertail. Females and first winter birds are dull and streaky with an obvious white eye-ring so could be confused with Ortolan or Cretzschmar's Buntings. However, they tend to be less prominently streaked, especially below, and the females often have a distinct yellow tinge to the throat. The most important clinching feature, though, is that the bill of a Cinereous Bunting is always dull grey rather than pinkish.

Subspecies semenowi
Photo by fotoemin
Nemrut Dagi, Adiyaman, Turkey


Southern Turkey, southern Iran, winters in northeast Africa and Yemen.


There are 2 subspecies.[1]

  • E. c. cineracea:
  • Arid rocky slopes of western and southern Turkey
  • E. c.a semenowi:


Rocky mountain slopes with scrub.



The diet includes seeds and insects.


Three eggs are laid.


Call: harsh tschrip; song: zru- zru-zru-zru


  1. Clements, JF. 2008. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to December 2008. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019.
  2. Wikipedia

Recommended Citation

External Links

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