T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network

Cirl bunting (Emberiza cirlus)

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Emberizidae
Genus: Emberiza
Species: E. cirlus
Binomial name: Emberiza cirlus
Common name: Cirl bunting

The Cirl bunting (Emberiza cirlus) is a rare introduced bird from England in the 1860s. In New Zealand, it lives only in the drier farmland areas of Marlborough and North Canterbury.
It is sparrow-sized bird 15-16.5 cm in length (wing-span 22-22.5 cm) with a thick bill. The male has a black crown, eyestripe and throat, and a greenish breast band across its underparts and a heavily streaked brown back. The female has a streaked grey-brown rump and chestnut shoulders. Their natural food consists of invertebrates and small seeds.
Breeding occurs during October to January. The nest is on the ground within dense cover. A clutch of three to four greenish grey eggs with dark, wriggly, hair-like marks are laid. The eggs are incubated for about 13 days by the female.




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