Family Old World Buntings (Emberizidae)

Least Concern

Chestnut Bunting (Emberiza rutila)


French: Bruant roux German: Rötelammer Spanish: Escribano herrumbroso

Emberiza rutila


, 1776,

Onon River and towards the Mongolian border


Sometimes placed in genus Schoeniclus or, in the past, in Ocyris. Proposed race pamirensis (described from Trans-Alai Range, in Pamir Mts) considered invalid, as based probably on vagrant birds. Monotypic.


C & E Siberia from Krasnoyarsk (N possibly to Podkamennaya Tunguska) E to S coast of Sea of Okhotsk, and S to L Baikal and Chita regions, NE Mongolia (Hövsgöl, Khentii) and NE China (Khingan Mts, in N Heilongjiang); probably also regularly in Russian Far East (Sikhote Alin Range, in Ussuriland). Winters in India (S Assam), Myanmar, S China, W Thailand, Laos and Vietnam.

Descriptive notes

14–15 cm; 12–24 g. Medium-sized bunting with relatively short tail, longish bill and, in all plumages, yellow on underparts, unstreaked chestnut rump and almost... read more


Song, from inconspicuous perch in tree, usually 3 slow pure notes followed by a characteristic... read more


Breeds in open forest with shrubby ground cover in S taiga, in coniferous forests of pine (... read more

Food and feeding

Diet during breeding season mainly invertebrates, such as caterpillars and other insects, as well as seeds; during migration and winter... read more


Season starts usually first half of Jun, very early after they arrive to the breeding territories. Nest built from grass blades, lined with... read more


Migratory; winters in region from Myanmar E to SE China (Guangdong), S to W Thailand, Laos and... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Common to locally fairly common. Global population not properly quantified, but species considered to be common during breeding season in S taiga and... read more

Recommended citation

Copete, J.L. (2020). Chestnut Bunting (Emberiza rutila). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 24 February 2020).