Common reed bunting

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The common reed bunting (Emberiza schoeniclus) is a passerine bird in the bunting family Emberizidae, a group now separated by most modern authors from the finches, Fringillidae. The genus name Emberiza is from Old German Embritz, a bunting. The specific schoeniclus is from Ancient Greek skhoiniklos, a now unknown waterside bird.[2]

Common reed bunting
Common reed bunting (emberiza schoeniclus) m.jpg
Male
Common reed bunting (emberiza schoeniclus) f.jpg
Female – Both at Otmoor, Oxfordshire
Male bird recorded in Norfolk, England
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Emberizidae
Genus: Emberiza
Species:
E. schoeniclus
Binomial name
Emberiza schoeniclus
EmberizaSchoeniclusIUCN2019-3.png
Range of E. schoeniclus     Breeding      Resident      Passage      Non-breeding
Synonyms
  • Fringilla schoeniclus Linnaeus, 1758
  • Schoeniclus schoeniclus (Linnaeus, 1758)

It breeds across Europe and much of the Palearctic. Most birds migrate south in winter, but those in the milder south and west of the range are resident. It is common in reedbeds and also breeds in drier open areas such as moorland and cultivation. For example, it is a component of the purple moor grass and rush pastures, a type of Biodiversity Action Plan habitat in the UK. It occurs on poorly drained neutral and acidic soils of the lowlands and upland fringe.

TaxonomyEdit

The bird family Emberizidae contains around 300 seed-eating species, the majority of which are found in the Americas, although the genus Emberiza, with more than 40 members, is confined to the Old World.[3] Within its genus, the reed bunting is most closely related to the Japanese reed bunting and the Pallas's reed bunting, which are sometimes classified as being in the genus Schoeniclus.

SubspeciesEdit

Fifteen subspecies are recognised- E. s. schoeniclus, the nominate subspecies, which occurs in most of Europe, E. s. witherbyi which is found in south Portugal, western Spain, France and Sardinia, E. s. intermedia from Italy and the Adriatic coast to northwest Albania, E. s. reiseri from southeast Albania, northwest Greece, south North Macedonia and west and central Turkey, E. s. caspia from east Turkey and northwest Iran, E. s. korejewi from southwest and eastern Iran and south Turkmenistan, E. s. pyrrhuloides from north Caspian sea region to western Mongolia, southeast Kazakhstan and central Tien Shan, E. s. passerina from northwest Siberia, wintering in south Asia, E. s. parvirostris from central Siberia wintering in northern China, E. s. pyrrhulina from Kamchatka and northern Japan, wintering in central Japan, Korea and eastern China, E. s. pallidior from southwestern Siberia wintering in southwest Asia, E. s. minor from Russian Far East and northeast China, wintering in east China, E. s. ukrainae from Ukraine and adjacent areas of Russia, E. s. incognita from southeastern European Russia to north Kazakhstan and E. s. zaidamensis, endemic to northwest Qinghai, China.

DescriptionEdit

The common reed bunting is a medium-sized bird, 13.5–15.5 cm long, with a small but sturdy seed-eater's bill. The male has a black head and throat, white neck collar and underparts, and a heavily streaked brown back. The female is much duller, with a streaked brown head, and is more streaked below. The song of the male is a repetitive srip.

BehaviourEdit

Its natural food consists of insects when feeding young, and otherwise seeds.

BreedingEdit

Breeding normally starts in early April, finishing in late August depending on location and altitude. The species is monogamous. The nest is built using twigs, grass and reeds lined with finer materials such as hair, moss and rootlets in a bush or reed tussock. 4–5 olive-grey eggs are laid, which show the hair-like markings characteristic of those of buntings. The incubation period is 12-15 days where the chicks are fed by both parents.[4]

StatusEdit

The reed bunting is not globally threatened and classified as least concern by the IUCN. The estimated European population is that of at least 4.8 million pairs, with particular strongholds in Sweden, Poland and Norway. However the reed bunting is reportedly declining in Norway, Sweden and Germany.

GalleryEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Emberiza schoeniclus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2012. Retrieved 26 November 2013.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  2. ^ Jobling, James A. (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London, United Kingdom: Christopher Helm. pp. 145, 350. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
  3. ^ Hoyo, Josep del; Elliott, Andrew; Sargatal, Jordi; Christie, David A (eds.). "Emberizidae". Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions. Retrieved 13 April 2014. (subscription required)
  4. ^ Copete, J.L; Christie, D.A. "Reed Bunting". Birds of the World. Retrieved 8 May 2020.

External linksEdit