Family Old World Buntings (Emberizidae)

Least Concern

Striolated Bunting (Emberiza striolata)


French: Bruant striolé German: Wüstenammer Spanish: Escribano estriado
Other common names: Striated Bunting

Fringilla striolata

M. H. C. Lichtenstein

, 1823,

Ambukol, Nubia, Berber, Sudan


Sometimes placed in genus Fringillaria. Often treated as conspecific with E. sahari, but constant differences in plumage and behaviour. Race jebelmarrae interpreted as an intergrade between nominate and saturatior by some workers, but others consider it synonymous with latter; situation complicated by considerable individual variation in plumage. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • E. s. striolata (M. H. C. Lichtenstein, 1823) – Israel, S Jordan and Sinai Peninsula, Arabian Peninsula, S Iran, NE Afghanistan, Pakistan and NW India, and NE Sudan, Eritrea, N & C Ethiopia and N Somalia.
  • E. s. jebelmarrae (Lynes, 1920) – NE Chad and W Sudan.
  • E. s. saturatior (Sharpe, 1901) – C & S Sudan, SW Ethiopia and NW Kenya.
  • Descriptive notes

    12–13 cm; 12–16 g. A small, slender bunting, smaller than E. cia and with more “scruffily” striped face; outer tail edged rufous (not white... read more


    Male song, from low bush or rock, mainly in period before and during breeding, a short, stereotyped... read more


    Rocky areas with arid scrub, usually near water. Typically less closely associated with human... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet mainly seeds of grasses and herbs (e.g. Heliotropium), also occasional flowers, berries (Ziziphus) and insects.... read more


    Season Mar–Jun, sometimes to Nov, timing and extent of breeding linked to local rainfall; frequently two broods per season in Israel and up... read more


    Resident and nomadic; subject to local movements after breeding, when small flocks wander outside... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Fairly common; often unobtrusive and easily overlooked. Annual numbers fluctuate in Israel; this linked to rainfall, numbers falling during droughts... read more

    Recommended citation

    Ryan, P. (2020). Striolated Bunting (Emberiza striolata). 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 23 February 2020).