Emberiza cirlus Linnaeus, 1766 ♀
Common names: Cirl Bunting [En], Bruant zizi [Fr], Cirlgors [Nl], Zaunammer [De], Zigolo nero [It], Escribano soteño [Es], Σιρλοτσίχλονο [Gr], Bahçe kiraz kuşu [Tu]
IUCN Conservation Status: LC (Least Concern)
Sykaminea, LARISSA ● Greece
Description: The Cirl Bunting is like a small Yellowhammer, 15-16.5 cm in length (wing-span 22-22.5 cm) with a thick seed-eater's bill. The male has a bright yellow head, with a black crown, 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.
Biology : In the summer their natural food consists of invertebrates for example grasshoppers and crickets to feed their chicks. In the winter they feed on small seeds from Over-wintered stubbles, fallow land, Set-aside, and the over-winter feeding of stock with grain or hay. They tend to feed in flocks during the winter.
The nest is on the ground, within dense cover such as that provided by thick hedgerows and scrub. The ideal scrub is said to be blackthorn, hawthorn, bramble and gorse. The breeding season runs from April until mid-September, potentially having 3 broods in total. They are sedentary in nature and will often travel only 250m from their nests to forage in summer, and up to 2 km in winter to find stubbles.
2-5 eggs are laid, which show the hair-like markings characteristic of those of buntings.
Habitat: Farmland habitat is a mixture of grass and arable fields, divided by thick hedgerows with pockets of dense scrub.
Distribution: Southern Britain, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Mediterranean islands, Balkans, Turkey and North-West Africa.
Wikipedia, Cirl Bunting