Family Old World Buntings (Emberizidae)

Critically Endangered

Yellow-breasted Bunting (Emberiza aureola)


French: Bruant auréole German: Weidenammer Spanish: Escribano aureolado

Emberiza aureola


, 1773,

Irtysh River, south-central Siberia, Russia


Sometimes placed in genus Schoeniclus or, in the past, in Ocyris. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • E. a. aureola Pallas, 1773 – W Russia E to R Kolyma, S to N Ukraine, N Kazakhstan and W & C Mongolia, formerly E Finland; winters in S & SE Asia.
  • E. a. ornata Shulpin, 1928 – E Transbaikalia, NE Mongolia and NE China (Heilongjiang) E to Anadyrland, Kamchatka, Sea of Okhotsk coast, Sakhalin, and N Japan and Kuril Is; winters in N Indian Subcontinent, S China and SE Asia.
  • Descriptive notes

    14–15·5 cm; 14–33 g. Medium-sized bunting, slightly larger than E. rutila, with longish bill; distinctive in most plumages. Male nominate race... read more


    Song, usually from exposed perch on top of tree or bush, a series of usually 5–9 units... read more


    Breeds in bushy areas, deciduous scrub and copses, very often along watercourses, edges of lakes... read more

    Food and feeding

    During breeding season mostly invertebrates, at other times seeds and other plant material; vegetable items taken throughout year. Recorded... read more


    Season normally starts from second half Jun to beginning Jul; one brood, rarely two. Nest built by female alone, taking 3–5 days, of... read more


    Migratory; winters from C & E Nepal, Bangladesh and NE India E to SE China (Guangdong) and... read more

    Status and conservation

    CRITICALLY ENDANGERED. Fairly common to locally abundant; declining rapidly. Estimated global population 120,000–1,000,000 mature individuals. Population conjectured to... read more

    Recommended citation

    Copete, J.L. & Sharpe, C.J. (2020). Yellow-breasted Bunting (Emberiza aureola). 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).