1129. Emberiza huttoni

(1129) Emberiza huttoni.

The Grey-necked Bunting.

Emberiza huttoni Blyth, J. A. S. B., xviii, p. 811 (1849) (Afghani¬stan). Emberiza buchanani. Blanf. & Oates, ii, p. 258.

Vernacular names. Jamjohara (Hind.).

Description. Lores and a ring round the eye greyish white ;. head, neck and upper back rather ashy-grey; back ashy-brown with blackish central streaks; rump and upper tail-coverts the same but less definitely streaked; tail dark brown, narrowly edged with fulvous ; outermost pair of feathers white except on shaft and a patch at the tip of the outer web; penultimate pair brown on the outer web and base of the inner web, white on the terminal half of the inner web; scapulars like the back but with a tinge of rufous on the outer webs; lesser wing-coverts ashy-brown; remaining coverts and quills dark brown, broadly edged with rather dull rufous; chin, throat and cheeks dull white, with an indistinct brown streak on either side of the throat; axillaries and under wing-coverts white; remainder of lower plumage pale dull rufous.

Colours of soft parts. " Iris dark brown; legs and feet yellowish-brown ; bill fleshy-brown " (Butler).

Measurements. Total length about 160 mm.; wing 82 to 88 mm.; tail 66 to 74 mm.; tarsus 18 to 19 mm.; culmen about 10 to 11 mm.

In fresh plumage the feathers of the head have brownish margins and the crown is not so pure a grey; the feathers of the underparts have fulvous edges which more or less obscure the rufous. The amount of white on the tail-feathers varies considerably.

Female similar to the male but a little paler and duller and with less white on the tail.

Distribution. Altai, Turkestan, Transcaspia, Persia, Afghanistan, Baluchistan and North-West Kashmir. In Winter to North-West India, South to Chanda and East to Lucknow.

The name buchanani by which this Bunting has generally been known cannot be used, as Blyth, J. A. S. B., xvi, p. 780 (1847), himself states that the name was given to an Ortolan Bunting and is therefore a synonym of E. hortulana.

Nidification. The Grey-necked Bunting breeds in Turkestan and probably also in Afghanistan, Baluchistan and Eastern Persia in May and June, making a very rough cup-shaped nest of dry grass, lined with finer grass and placed in open stony wastes, grass-covered plateaus or cultivation. It is said to be carefully concealed either under a rock or stone, or well under some protecting bush or tuft of grass. The eggs vary greatly in ground-colour, being pale greenish, pale pink or yellow stone-colour, or pale greyish. The marks consist of specks, spots and lines of black or deep purple-red. They measure from 19.0 x 14.9 to 20.3 x 15.9 mm.

Habits. This Bunting is a true migrant, passing through the North-Western Himalayas and the Plains of the whole of North-West India to Khandala on the South and to Etawah on the East. Ticehurst found that in Sind males were much more numerous than females and believes the sexes migrate in separate flocks. In their breeding area they frequent in preference the barest deserts and plains but in India are found both in desert and in well-cultivated country among ripe crops of all sorts.

The Fauna Of British India, Including Ceylon And Burma-birds(second Edition)
Baker, EC S (1922–1930) The fauna of British India including Ceylon and Burma. Second edition. vol.3 1926.
Title in Book: 
1129. Emberiza huttoni
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
Grey Necked Bunting
Grey-necked Bunting
Emberiza buchanani
Vol. 3
Term name: 

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Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith