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Yellow-throated Bunting

Emberiza elegans

Length: 6 inches Wingspan: 8 inches Seasonality: Non-resident in South Dakota
ID Keys: Dark face mask, yellow throat and back of head, prominent crest

Yellow-throated Bunting - Emberiza elegansThe Yellow-throated Bunting is found in southeastern Asia.  Breeding primarily occurs in Russia, China, and North Korea, but in winter birds can also be found in Japan and Taiwan. In North America, they were unknown until a single bird was found on Attu Island in the far western Aleutian Islands, in 1998.

Habitat: Found in a variety of open woodland settings, including open woodland, forest edges and clearings, and brushy areas with scattered trees.

Diet: Feeds heavily on seeds, particularly outside of the breeding season.  During the breeding season they also feed heavily on insects.

Behavior: Gregarious outside of the breeding season, forming loose flocks.  Foraging tends to occur on the ground.

Nesting: The nest of a Yellow-throated Bunting is a cup built of twigs, grasses, leaves, and other vegetative material, with fine grasses, animal hair, and other fine items as a lining. Between 3 and 6 eggs are laid, and both parents help to incubate them.  Incubations lasts around 12 days. They typically will raise two broods per season.

Song: Song is a long series of monotone phrases

Migration: Some populations are resident at all seasons, such as those in southern China and Korea.  Those that breed at the northern end of the range, such as those in Russia, are migratory, moving to Japan, China, Korea, and Myanmar.

Interactive eBird map: Click here to access an interactive eBird map of Yellow-throated Bunting sightings

Similar Species: Distinctive if seen well.

Conservation Status: Populations are large, considered stable, and are found over a wide geographic region. The IUCN lists the Yellow-throated Bunting as a species of "Least Concern".

Further Information: 1) BirdLife International - Yellow-throated Bunting

2) BirdFellow - Yellow-throated Bunting

Photo Information: Photo by Robert tdc - Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0 Generic License


Click below for a higher-resolution map
Yellow-throated Bunting - Range Map
South Dakota Status: Non-resident in South Dakota

Additional Yellow-throated Bunting Photos (coming soon!!)