Family Old World Buntings (Emberizidae)

Least Concern

Grey-throated Bunting (Emberiza goslingi)


French: Bruant de Gosling German: Graukehlammer Spanish: Escribano gorjigrís

Fringillaria goslingi


, 1906,

Mbima, northern Nigeria


Until recently considered conspecific with E. tahapisi, but molecular study#R reinforced the case for splitting. Indeed, in its pure form it differs from tahapisi in its grey vs black chin, throat and rear ear-coverts (3); paler tan underparts (1); and rich rufous panel in closed wing, making a large rufous patch on open wing (3). It is thus here accorded species rank; furthermore, there is apparently evidence of parapatric occurrence “at W end of the Sudan–Uganda border”#R and an indication that some song components differ from those of taxa grouped in tahapisi#R. However, form “septemstriata”, which occupies a considerable area from E Sudan across N Ethiopia (N of 12° N) and all Eritrea#R, appears to be a hybrid swarm between present species and nominate tahapisi, exhibiting unstable characters of both taxa and thus partly undiagnosable; single genetic sample (from Eritrea) placed it closer to present species, but S Ethiopian and E African tahapisi were not sampled. For convenience, although in genetic study septemstriata was placed with tahapisi#R, it is incorporated here into present species without taxonomic rank (if rank retained, name septemstriata takes precedence over goslingi); clearly, more work is needed to assess the status of this form. Monotypic.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.

Mauritania and Senegal E to Cameroon, SW & E Sudan, NE South Sudan, Eritrea and N Ethiopia.

Descriptive notes

13–15 cm; 11·1–15·6 g. Adult has plain grey throat (both sexes), and further differs from formerly conspecific E. tahapisi in having base of outer primaries and all... read more


No evidence that it differs vocally from previously conspecific E. tahapisi. Study of... read more


Mainly rocky hillsides, stony areas and erosion gulleys in wide range of habitats, from arid and... read more

Food and feeding

Diet has not been described, but is presumably broadly similar to that of E. tahapisi. No differences known in foraging behaviour... read more


Season Jul–Jan (mainly Sept–Dec) in W Africa (with young in nest until at least Feb), and Nov–Jan in Sudan. Monogamous. Solitary and... read more


Resident, local nomad and partial migrant. In W Africa, generally moves N in rainy season and S in... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Uncommon to locally common. Density 0·1–0·3 pairs/ha in Nigeria; even greater densities locally in N Nigeria. Range extended c. 290... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Grey-throated Bunting (Emberiza goslingi). 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 11 December 2019).