Unsorted Wild Birds

Little Buntings

The Little Buntings, Emberiza pusilla, is a passerine bird in the bunting family Emberizidae, a group now separated by most modern authors from the finches, Fringillidae.

Distribution / Breeding:

Little Buntings breed 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.

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.


This is a small bunting at 12-13.5cm in length. It has a heavily streaked brown back and white underparts with fine dark streaking. With its chestnut face and white (cheek) 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. Males and females look alike.

Call / Song:

The call is a distinctive zik, and the song is a rolling siroo-sir-sir-siroo.


  • BirdLife International (2004).. 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. Retrieved on 12 May 2006. Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern

Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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