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Bunting

   

The emberizids are a large family of passerine birds. They are seed-eating birds with a distinctively shaped bill. In Europe, most species are named as buntings. In North America, most of the species in this family are known as Sparrows, but these birds are not closely related to the Old World sparrows which are in the family Passeridae. Many emberizid species have distinctive head patterns. There are species 275 worldwide and 4 species which occur in Namibia.

Lark-like Bunting Emberiza impetuani

The Lark-like Bunting (Emberiza impetuani) is a species of bird in the Emberizidae family. It is found in Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical dry shrubland.

Cinnamon-breasted Bunting Emberiza tahapisi


The Cinnamon-breasted Bunting (Emberiza tahapisi) is a species of bird in the Emberizidae family. It is found in Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ivory Coast, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Yemen, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Its natural habitats are dry savanna, subtropical or tropical dry shrubland, and subtropical or tropical dry lowland grassland.

Cape Bunting Emberiza capensis


The Cape Bunting, Emberiza capensis, is a passerine bird in the bunting family Emberizidae.

The Cape Bunting is 16cm long. The adult has a black crown, white supercilium and black-bordered white ear coverts. The upperparts are grey brown with some dark streaks, and the wing coverts are chestnut. The tail is darker chestnut, and the underparts are grey with a pale throat. The sexes are very similar, but females may have a buff tone to the white head markings. Young birds have duller chestnut wings, a less distinct head pattern, and heavier streaking extending on to the breast and flanks. The call is an ascending zzoo-zeh-zee-zee. The song is a loud chirping chup chup chup chup chee chhep chu. E. c. vincenti has a simple tre-re-ret tre-re-ret song.

The Cape Bunting occurs in southern Africa from southwestern Angola, eastern Zambia, Zimbabwe and southern Tanzania to the Cape. Its habitat is rocky slopes and dry weedy scrub, mainly in mountains in the north of its range. It previously utilized stony arid areas with some short grass, but much of this has been lost to ploughing.

The Cape Bunting is not gregarious, and is normally seen alone, in pairs or family groups. It feeds on the ground on seeds, insects and spiders. Its lined cup nest is built low in a shrub or tussock. The 2-4 eggs are cream and marked with red-brown and lilac.

Golden-breasted Bunting Emberiza flaviventris

The Golden-breasted Bunting, Emberiza flaviventris, is a passerine bird in the bunting family Emberizidae. It occurs in dry open woodlands in Africa south of the Sahara, but is absent from the equatorial forest belt.

The Golden-breasted Bunting is 15–16 cm long. The adult male has striking head pattern with a white crown, black lateral crown stripes, white supercilium and black-bordered white ear coverts. The underparts are orange-yellow becoming yellow on the throat and whitish on the lower belly. The upperparts are chestnut with a grey rump. The browner wings have two conspicuous white wing bars. The sexes are very similar, but females may have a buff tone to the white head markings and browner head stripes, and the back may have dark streaks. Young birds are duller and paler than the females.

E. f. princeps is similar to the nominate form, but larger, and paler below. E. f. flavigaster is more distinctive, having a paler, redder back, pale grey rump, paler yellow underparts and whiter flanks.

The Golden-breasted Bunting’s call is a nasal ascending zzhrr. The song is variable, but includes a weechee weechee weechee.

This species is found in a variety of open woodlands. Flavigaster favours acacia steppe and savanna, with the other subspecies occurring in a wider range of lightly wooded country including gardens.

The Golden-breasted Bunting builds an untidy cup nest lined with fine grass or hair low in a shrub or sapling. The 2-3 eggs are glossy white or cream and marked with black lines. The eggs hatch in 12–13 days and the chicks fledge in another 16–17 days.

The Golden-breasted Bunting is not gregarious, and is normally seen alone, in pairs or small groups. It feeds on the ground on seeds, insects and spiders, animal prey being taken mostly when the birds have young. This species is generally resident, but there appears to be degree of local movement. It is often quite tame.

   
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