512. CIRL Bunting.
Emberiza cirlus, Linn, Syst. Nat. i. p. 311 (1766) ; Naum. iv. p. 251, Taf. 102, figs. 3, 4 ; Hewitson, p. 190 pl. xlviii. fig. 2 (egg) ; Gould, B. of E. iii. pl. 175 ; id. B. of Gt. Brit. iii. pl. 23 ; Newton, ii. p. 50 ; Dresser, iv. p. 177, pl. 210 ; Sharpe, Cat. B. Br. Mus. xii. p. 525 ; Saunders, p. 211 ; Lilford, iv. p. 28, pl. 15.
Bruant zizi, French ; Sia, Sicia, Portug ; Chilla, Span. ; Zigolo nero, Ital ; Zaunammer, German ; Ogorodnaya-ovsyanka, Russ.
Male ad. (Spain). Crown, rape, and sides of neck olive-green, striped with black ; mantle dark bay, striped with black ; lower back, rump, and upper tail-coverts greenish grey, the last tinged with rufous ; wings and tail, much as in E. citrinella, but the lesser wing-coverts olive-green ; lores, ear-coverts, cheeks, and upper throat black ; supercilium. cheek- patch, and a band across the lower throat lemon-yellow, fore-part of breast yellowish olive ; sides of breast bay ; flanks greyish brown, indistinctly striped ; rest of under parts lemon-yellow ; bill dark ashy brown ; legs yellowish ; iris brown. Culmen 0.4, wing 3.15, tail 2.8, tarsus 0.7 inch. The female lacks all black and yellow on the head, has only a sulphur super¬cilium, the chin and throat are tinged with yellow, and both upper and under parts are dark, streaked, the former on a brownish, and the latter on a yellowish buff ground.
Hab. Central and southern Europe ; southern England, of doubtful occurrence in Scotland ; once obtained in Ireland ; south to Algeria, east to Asia Minor, Turkey, and south Russia ; resident except in the northern portions of its range but winters in the south of England.
In its general habits it resembles E. citrinella and like that species frequents meadows and cultivated ground, in the winter ranging about the fields in search of food. Though not shy
it is wary and unobtrusive. Its call-note resembles the syallables zi-zi-zarr-zirr, and its song resembles that of E. citrinella but is less melodious and lacks the final strophe. Its nest is placed in a furze- or other bush, or occasionally on a bank, and is constructed of grass-bents, rootlets, and moss, lined with rootlets and hair. Two broods are raised in the season, the first clutch of eggs being deposited in May and the second in July. These, 4 or 5 seldom 6 in number, are pale greyish white with a faint blue tinge marked with pale indigo brown and blackish brown stripes and hair-lines, and in size average about 0.89 by 0.66. The female and young of this species are distinguishable from those of E. citrinella, In having olive-green lesser wing-coverts.
512. Emberiza cirlus
512. CIRL Bunting.