Friday, 19 August 2011

Golden-breasted bunting

Emberiza flaviventris

Photo by Dubi Shapiro (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
golden-breasted bunting (en); escrevedeira-de-peito-dourado (pt); bruant à poitrine dorée (fr); semillerito de pecho dorado (es); gelbbauchammer (de)
Order Passeriformes
Family Emberizidae
This African species is found from southern Mali to Sudan, then south through Uganda, Tanzania, southern D.R. Congo, Angola and Zambia, an into Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana, northern Namibia and most of South Africa.
The golden-breasted bunting is 15-16 cm long and weighs 20-25 g.
This species generally prefers savanna, especially Acacia, burkea Burkea africana and mopane Colosphermum mopane woodland, as well as dry woodland along dry rivers, tall shrubland on rocky ground, edges of cereal crops, alien plantations and gardens.
The golden-breasted bunting mainly eats seeds, but also flower buds and insects, foraging on the ground and in the foliage of small trees and shrubs. They are known to take the seeds of kweek Cynodon dactylon, beetles, short-horned grasshoppers, termites and ants.

These monogamous, solitary nesters breed in September-April. The nest is an untidy cup of grass stems, tendrils, leaf petioles and other pliable plant material, lined with fine rootlets and hair. It is typically placed on a horizontal fork of a bush or tree. There the female lays 2-5 glossy white or cream eggs with black lines, which she incubates alone for 12-13 days. The chicks are fed by both parents on a diet of insects and seeds, and fledge 13-17 days after hatching.
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range. Although the global population size has not been quantified, the golden-breasted bunting is described as never really common, but one of the most widespread African buntings. Although it is regularly captured illegally for the cage bird trade, The population is suspected to be stable.

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