Family Old World Buntings (Emberizidae)

Near Threatened

Ochre-rumped Bunting (Emberiza yessoensis)


French: Bruant de Yéso German: Mandschurenammer Spanish: Escribano culiocre
Other common names: Japanese Reed Bunting

Schœnicola yessoënsis


, 1874,

near Hakodate, Hokkaido, Japan


Closely related to E. schoeniclus and E. pallasi, and all three sometimes placed in genus Schoeniclus. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • E. y. continentalis Witherby, 1913 – extreme E Mongolia, NE China (Heilongjiang) and S Russian Far East (Ussuriland); winters in coastal E China.
  • E. y. yessoensis (Swinhoe, 1874) – C & S Japan (N & C Honshu and Kyushu); winters in S Japan and Korea.
  • Descriptive notes

    14–15 cm; 13–14 g. Small bunting with pointed tail feathers. Male nominate race breeding has entire head to lower neck and upper breast glossy black, nape pinkish... read more


    Song, usually from tall herb or reed, a brief phrase containing short syllables, “tsui tsui... read more


    Breeds in reedbeds and edges of marshes, wetland fringes with bushes, and tall herbs bordering... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insufficiently known. During breeding recorded as taking seeds, beetles (Coleoptera) and caterpillars, also berries; in winter diet... read more


    Season May–Jul; double-brooded. Nest a small cup made from dry grasses, lined with grass, rootlets and hair, located on or very close... read more


    Migratory. Mainland race continentalis migrates to coastal China (mainly from Jiangsu S to... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near-threatened. Uncommon to rare, and local. Evidently extinct in some formerly inhabited areas, such as Hokkaido and the Kuril... read more

    Recommended citation

    Copete, J.L. (2020). Ochre-rumped Bunting (Emberiza yessoensis). 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 19 February 2020).