Corn Bunting


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Related to Corn Bunting: Cirl bunting, reed bunting

Corn Bunting

 

(Emberiza calandra), a bird of the family Emberizidae of the order Passeriformes. The body is 18–20 cm long and weighs approximately 50 g. The plumage is brownish above and whitish with dark longitudinal stripes below. The corn bunting is distributed in Europe, North Africa, and the southern part of Western Asia. In the USSR its range extends from southern Byelorussia to southeastern Kazakhstan. The bird inhabits fields, meadows, and mountain steppes with tall weeds and shrubs. It nests on the ground, laying four to six eggs in a clutch. The female incubates the eggs for 12 or 13 days. Two clutches may be produced per summer. The corn bunting feeds on seeds and insects.

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Under threat (from left): Corn bunting, grey partridge, willow warbler and willow tit
IN THE West Midlands, as elsewhere in the UK, birds such as the skylark, corn bunting, lapwing, tree sparrow, and other wildlife, such as the common blue butterfly, are being lost from the countryside at an alarming rate, while the number of people working in farming also continues to plummet.
Gone completely are: Bittern, Common Gull, Nightingale, Corn Bunting and Woodlark.
Within minutes the corn bunting became lunch for the powerful constrictor.
Farmland birds have been hit hard, with the corn bunting, tree sparrow and yellowhammer all disappearing from a number of areas in Cheshire, and turtle doves now extinct in the county.
But the already-endangered corn bunting and turtle dove are "causing concern", with neither now breeding every year and edging closer to extinction.
Dr Brown said that intensive farming has already lead to the loss of the corn bunting and the corncrake is under severe threat of disappearing.
Tree sparrow populations have dropped by 95 per cent, the corn bunting by 88 per cent, the skylark by 52 per cent and lapwing by 40 per cent.
We know, for example, that the jangling song of the Corn Bunting and the soft purring of the Turtle Dove are sounds already extinct in Wales, and fast going from England too.
He urged farmers to use areas of unwanted grain to help species including the corn bunting and yellow hammer to survive.
In another area on the eastern side of the moss, Phil Smith counted 12 wheatear, 2 whinchat, 20 corn bunting and 4 yellowhammers.
In the UK between 1970 and 1999, the skylark had declined by 52 per cent, the yellowhammer by 53 per cent and the corn bunting by 88 per cent.