Emberiza calandra Linnaeus, 1758, Sweden. Several subspecies have been described, but geographic variation is slight.
OTHER COMMON NAMES
French: Bruant proyer; German: Grauammer; Spanish: Triguero.
7 in (18 cm); 1.2–1.75 oz (35–50 g). A large bunting with a stout bill. Sexes are alike in color, but males are larger than females. They are uniformly brownish and streaked with brown, with underparts paler than upperparts; some have a blackish spot on the breast.
Breeds from Britain, southern Sweden, and Lithuania southeast across Russia to the Caspian Sea and south through all of eastern Europe and the Mediterranean islands to the Canary Islands, North Africa, Syria, northern Iraq, Iran, northern Afghanistan and Tajikistan, and western Tianshan, China. Winters in the breeding range south to Israel and southern Iraq and Iran.
Live in open country with few bushes, especially in farmlands.
In the breeding season, males advertise by singing. They often give a flight song with their legs dangling in a distinctive way and their wings uplifted. They flock outside of the breeding season, often with other seed-eating birds; flocks start to form after the end of the breeding season.
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
Feed on the ground in fields, damp meadows, and in short grass. In the breeding season they take animal material (arthropods, snails, earthworms) and seeds, and in winter they eat seeds (especially cereals).
Mostly monogamous, but in some populations about 20% of the males are polygynous. The nest is placed on the ground in thick tangled grass or in a shrub or depression. They lay two to seven (usually four to five) eggs. Incubation takes 12–14 days, and young fledge in 9–13 days. The female does most of the feeding, but males with more than one mate tend to feed more than males in a monogamous pair.
Not threatened, though populations of corn buntings have declined in most places in Europe, due mainly to changes in agricultural practices.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS
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