Black-headed Bunting
Black-headed Bunting
Black-headed Bunting

Black-headed Bunting

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The Black-headed Bunting (Emberiza melanocephala) is a passerine bird in the bunting family Emberizidae. It breeds in southeast Europe east to Iran and migrates in winter mainly to India, with some individuals moving further into Southeast Asia. Like others in its family, it is found in open grassland habitats where they fly in flocks in search of grains and seed.


Black-headed Bunting breeds in open scrubby areas including agricultural land. In winter they move to Asia and the large flocks are found in agricultural fields and grasslands. The main breeding zone extends from southeastern Europe to central Asia.


Adult males are well marked with yellow underparts, chestnut back and a black head. Adult females in breeding plumage look like duller males.

The breeding male has bright yellow underparts, chestnut upperparts and a black hood. The female is a washed-out version of the male, with paler underparts, a grey-brown back and a greyish head.


The Black-headed Bunting breeds in summer, building a nest in a low bush or on the ground. The nest is a cup made of dry grass and lined with hair. The clutch consists of 4-6 eggs. The eggs hatch after about 13 days and the chicks fledge after about 10 days.


Its natural food consists of insects when feeding young, and otherwise seeds. In Captivity: Paradise Earth Premium Finch Blend, eggfood blend and greens.