Cretzschmar’s Buntings, Emberiza caesia

The Cretzschmar’s Bunting (Emberiza caesia) was named after the German physician Philipp Jakob Cretzschmar.

Distribution / Habitat

The Cretzschmar’s Bunting spends the summers in Greece, Turkey, Cyprusa and the coastal countries along the eastern edge of the Mediterranean. It is migratory, wintering in the Sudan. It is a very rare wanderer to western Europe.

Ir breeds on sunny open hillsides, with some bushes. It is mainly coastal or insular, and often breeds at lower levels than the closely-related Ortolan Bunting where both occur. It lays four to six eggs in a ground nest.


It mostly feeds on seeds, except when raising young when their diet mostly consists of insects.


This bird is smaller in size than Ortolan.

The breeding male has a grey head with orange moustaches. The upperparts are brown and heavily streaked, except on the rump, and the underparts are rusty orange. The stout bill is pink.

Females and immature birds have a weaker head pattern, and are more similar to Ortolans. They can be distinguished by the warm brown rump and white eye-ring.

Photo of author

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