503. Emberiza melanocephala

503. Black-headed Bunting.
Emberiza melanocephala, Scop. Ann. Hist. nat. p. 142 (1769) ; Naum, iv. p. 227, Taf. 101, fig. 2 ; Gould, B. of E. iii. pl. 172 ; (id.) B. of Asia, v. pl. 13 ; (Newton), ii. p. 64 ; Dresser, iv. p. 151 pl. 206 ; Sharpe, Cat. B. Br. Mus. xii. p. 503 ; Oates, F. Brit. Ind. Birds, ii. p. 261 ; Saunders, p. 205 ; Lilford, iv. p. 34, pl. 18.
Bruant crocote, French ; Zigolo capinero, Ital. ; Kappenammer German ; Tschernogolovaia-ovsyanka, Russ. ; Gandam Hind.
Male ad. (Asia Minor). Forehead, lores, below the eye, crown, and nape deep black ; upper parts and lesser wing-coverts rich orange chestnut ; under parts deep yellow ; remiges and rectrices blackish brown, the latter and the primaries narrowly margined with dull white, the secondaries and wing-coverts broadly margined with warm buffy white ; bill dark horn, yellowish flesh below ; legs fleshy brown ; iris dark brown. Culmen 0.65, wing 3.75, tail 3.15 tarsus 0.85 inch. The female is much less richly coloured ; upper parts fulvous brown, the head and back streaked with blackish brown, the crown and rump slightly washed with yellow ; under parts fulvous white, the breast washed with ochraceous, and the abdomen with yellow ; under tail-coverts yellow ; wings and tail as in the male but paler. In the winter the rich colours in the male are obscured by the dull pale margins to the feathers.
Hab. South-eastern Europe as far west as Italy, a rare straggler to France, Great Britain, and Heligoland ; eastward through Asia Minor and Palestine to Persia and Baluchistan, wintering on the plains of India as far east as Delhi, Nagpur, and Chanda, and as far south as Belgaum.
In habits it resembles the Corn-Bunting, frequenting fields and cultivated ground, feeding on insects and seeds in the summer, and grain and seeds in the winter. It call-note is a soft tcheh, and its song, which is simple but sweet resembles the syllables sirzirrri siriri. Its nest which is composed of dry grass-bents and lined with hair, is placed on the ground, in a tuft of grass, or in a low bush, and the eggs usually 5 in number are deposited in May, and are delicate pale greenish blue marked, chiefly at the larger end, with faint purplish underlying shell-spots and fight or dark brown surface-spots without any of the irregular lines so characteristic of Bunting eggs. In size they average about 0.87 by 0.63.

A Manual Of Palaearctic Birds
Dresser, Henry Eeles. A Manual of Palaearctic Birds. Vol. 1. 1902.
Title in Book: 
503. Emberiza melanocephala
Book Author: 
H. E. Dresser
Page No: 
Common name: 
Black Headed Bunting
Black-headed Bunting
Emberiza melanocephala
Vol. 1

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