Family Old World Buntings (Emberizidae)

Near Threatened

Tibetan Bunting (Emberiza koslowi)


French: Bruant de Koslov German: Tibetammer Spanish: Escribano tibetano

Emberiza koslowi


, 1904,

Dza Chu River, Lancang Jiang (upper Mekong), east Xizang, China


Recent phylogenetic analysis#R found this species to be an early offshoot of a W Palearctic–Tibetan clade, being closest to E. calandra and E. fucata. Monotypic.


Upper reaches of R Lancang Jiang (Mekong), R Nu Jiang (Salween) and R Chang Jiang (Yangtze) in small area of NE Tibetan Plateau around Xizang–S Qinghai border of China.

Descriptive notes

16 cm; c. 25 g. Distinctive stocky, rather bull-necked and relatively long-tailed bunting with prominent long supercilium. Male breeding has black crown bordered by wide... read more


Song, from stunted bushtop or boulder, an uncomplicated little phrase, has been transcribed as a... read more


Relatively barren, steep scrubby slopes above tree-line. Favours mixture of dwarf alpine shrubs,... read more

Food and feeding

Little information. Diet presumably various seeds, but in breeding season no doubt primarily insectivorous. Following prey items identified... read more


Virtually undocumented. Breeding thought not to commence until very end of Jun or early Jul. Following details based on one studied nest.... read more


Assumed to be resident; perhaps descends a little in severe winter weather, but no evidence of this.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near-threatened. Restricted-range species: present in the Eastern Tibet EBA. Rare and little known. Confined to E part of... read more

Recommended citation

Madge, S. (2020). Tibetan Bunting (Emberiza koslowi). 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 16 February 2020).