Thai National Parks

Birds of Thailand

Species of Thailand

Red-headed bunting

Binomial name: Emberiza bruniceps, Johann Friedrich von Brandt, 1841

The red-headed bunting (Emberiza bruniceps) is a passerine bird in the bunting family Emberizidae, a group now separated by most modern authors from the finches, Fringillidae.

It breeds in central Asia. It is migratory, wintering in India and Bangladesh. Its status in western Europe, where it is a potential vagrant, is confused by escapes, especially as this species is more commonly recorded than the closely related black-headed bunting, despite the latter having a more westerly breeding range. Reports in Britain have declined dramatically over recent years, coinciding with the decline in Asiatic imports for the cage-bird trade.

The red-headed bunting breeds in open scrubby areas including agricultural land. It lays three to five eggs in a nest in a tree or bush. Its natural food consists of seeds, or when feeding young, insects.

This bird is 17 cm long, larger than reed bunting, and long-tailed. The breeding male has bright yellow underparts, green upperparts and a brownish-red face and breast.

The female is a washed-out version of the male, with paler underparts, a grey-brown back and a greyish head. The juvenile is similar, and both can be difficult to separate from the corresponding plumages of black-headed bunting.

The song, given from a high perch, is a jerky sweet-sweet-churri-churri-churri.

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Scientific classification

Kingdom
Animalia
Phylum
Chordata
Class
Aves
Order
Passeriformes
Family
Emberizidae
Genus
Emberiza
Species
Emberiza bruniceps

Conservation status

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Distribution map of Red-headed bunting, Emberiza bruniceps in Thailand
  • Mae Ai District, Chiang Mai
  • Mae Taeng District, Chiang Mai

Range map of Emberiza bruniceps in Thailand

Important note; our range maps are based on limited data we have collected. The data is not necessarily accurate or complete.

Special thanks to Ton Smits, Parinya Pawangkhanant, Ian Dugdale and many others for their contribution for range data.

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