1130. Emberiza hortulana

(1130) Emberiza hortulana.

The Ortolan Bunting.

Emberiza hortulana Linn., Syst. Nat., 10th ed. i, p. 177 (1758) (Sweden); Blanf. & Oates, ii, p. 259.

Vernacular names. Jamjohara (Hind.).

Description. Lores and ring round the eye dull yellowish ; upper part of the head and nape dull olive-green indistinctly streaked with blackish; back and scapulars pale rufous with broad black streaks; rump and upper tail-coverts the same with narrow indistinct streaks ; tail dark brown edged with fulvous-rufous, the two outer pairs of feathers white on the terminal halves of the inner webs and also on the outer web of the outermost; lesser wing-coverts ashy-brown; other wing-coverts and quills dark brown, broadly edged with pale rufous; an indefinite brown moustachial streak; chin and throat yellow; upper breast dull olive-yellow with faint indications of darker striae; remainder of lower plumage rufous ; axillaries and under wing-coverts yellow-buff.

Colours of soft parts. Iris dark brown ; bill dark fleshy-yellow, darker on the culmen ; legs and feet pale fleshy or fleshy-brown.

Measurements. Total length about 160 mm.; wing 81 to 91 mm.; tail 62 to 67 mm.; tarsus 20 to 21 mm.; culmen about-10 mm.

The male after moulting has the feathers of the lower part fringed with paler yellowish-fulvous obscuring the rufous.

The female is similar to the male but a paler, more yellowish-rufous below ; old females, however, are quite as yellow on the throat as old males.

Young birds have the head like the back ; the throat is white, flecked with dark brown and the breast and flanks are boldly streaked with black.

Distribution. Practically the whole of Europe; North-West Africa; Northern Asia to West Mongolia ; Central Asia to Syria, Persia, Afghanistan. In Winter to Mesopotamia, the Persian Gulf, Gilgit and North-West Kashmir.

Nidification. A specimen killed in Gilgit on the 27th May must have been breeding but no nest has yet been found within Indian limits. In Europe it breeds in fields of rye and corn or on hillsides covered with bush-jungle. The nest is a loosely-built cup of grass and roots lined with fine grass or, occasionally, hair. It is placed either actually on the ground in a hollow protected by grass, bush or weeds, or else close to the ground in some bush or dense tuft of grass. It breeds during May and June and apparently has but one brood in the year. The eggs number four to six and are typically pale cream or creamy-grey with rather bold blotches and coarse lines sparsely scattered over the whole surface or, more rarely, concentrated in a ring or cap at the larger end. Rarely the ground-colour may be a comparatively dark grey-green. One hundred eggs average "19.7 x 15.3 mm.: maxima" 22.0 x 16.25 and 20.0 x 17.0 mm.; minima 18.0 x 14.5 mm." (Jourdain).

Habits. The Ortolan Bunting is said to very closely resemble the Yellow-Hammer in its

Habits. It is a ground-feeding bird, eating insects and seeds, resting both on trees and bushes or on buildings. Its song is said to resemble the words tink, tink, tink, torji, the last note prolonged and harsh.

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: 
1130. Emberiza hortulana
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
Ortolan Bunting
Ortolan Bunting
Emberiza hortulana
Vol. 3
Term name: 

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