886. Cinnamon-breasted Bunting
(formerly known as Rock Bunting) Emberiza tahapisi
Order: Passeriformes. Family: EmberizidaeDescription
Length 15 cm, mass 15 g.
Adult male: Upperparts are black with brown margins to the feathers. Head boldly striped black and white; mantle to upper tail coverts cinnamon with dark brown markings. Tail and flight feathers dark brown, edged cinnamon. Dark throat with cinnamon washed underparts.
Adult female: Similar to the male, but paler; above less reddish.
Juvenile is similar to female but flecked with brown below.
Similar species: Key features separating it from Cape Bunting
are the cinnamon (not grey) underparts, blackish (not white) throat, yellowish-horn coloured (not black) bill and black and white striped head. It also lacks the contrasting chestnut wing coverts. The Cape Bunting differs mainly in having a white throat and grey underparts.Distribution
Occurs across much of sub-Saharan Africa, from Senegal to Ethiopia through the DRC, Tanzania, Namibia (found in Epupa Falls, Kaokoland and Damaraland, north of Mariental through Windhoek to Otjiwarongo), Zambia, Angola and Malawi to southern Africa. In southern Africa, widespread in the east and north, but absent from most of Namib, Kalahari and Karoo, and coastal regions of KwaZulu-Natal. It is distributed mainly in the eastern half of southern Africa, from the eastern Cape Province northward through Lesotho, KwaZulu-Natal, the Free State (where it avoids the northcentral area), throughout the Transvaal, Swaziland and Zimbabwe, and eastern Botswana. It clearly avoids coastal regions. The distribution seems entirely confined to summer-rainfall areas. Habitat
Rocky hillsides or boulder strewn habitats, dry watercourses, quarries and mixed woodland.Diet
Grass seeds, green leaves, nectar and insects. It forages on bare ground among rocks, occasionally plucking food from grass and hawking termite alates aerially.Breeding
Monogamous solitary nester. The female builds a shallow cup of grass, rootlets and fine twigs on a foundation of large twigs, neatly lined with fine grass and rootlets. It is typically placed in a shallow depression in the ground at the base of a grass tuft or rock, on an earthen bank, in a crevice in a small rock face or among scattered rocks in a hollow. Egg-laying season is from October-June, peaking from January-April. The female lays 2-4 pale greenish eggs with dark brown spots, which are incubated by both sexes for about 12-14 days. The chicks fed by parents in the nest for 13-16 days before fledgeing and the young remain in their natal territory for up to 2 months. Call
Song is an ascending series of fast Chip-chip-iperezzzzz
which sometimes ends with a short buzzing sound. Call a nasal sounding dwe-wer-errr
. Flight call a soft twee
. Listen to Bird Call.Status
Common, with both resident and breeding migrant populations.