Family Old World Buntings (Emberizidae)


Yellow Bunting (Emberiza sulphurata)


French: Bruant du Japon German: Schwefelammer Spanish: Escribano japonés
Other common names: Japanese Yellow Bunting

Emberiza sulphurata

Temminck and Schlegel

, 1848,



Sometimes placed in genus Schoeniclus or, in the past, in Ocyris. Monotypic.


Mountains of N & W Honshu, in Japan. Main wintering area imperfectly known: includes N Philippines, probably also Taiwan and SE China (Fujian, Guangdong).

Descriptive notes

13–14 cm; male average 15·2 g, female average 14·6 g. Rather small, undistinctive bunting. Male breeding has head uniformly greenish, with some grey tinge... read more


Song, usually from inconspicuous perch high in tree, usually several twittering phrases alternated... read more


During breeding associated with second growth and forest edges in deciduous and mixed forests, also... read more

Food and feeding

Diet not well known. Insects, such as beetles (Coleoptera) and caterpillars, also plant material, such as legume seeds. On Mindoro, in... read more


Starts second half of May. Males congregate on areas of snow-free vegetation, awaiting later arrival of females. Nest made from coarse... read more


Migratory; non-breeding quarters mainly in N Philippines, with irregular records Taiwan and Chinese... read more

Status and conservation

VULNERABLE. Restricted-range species: present in Central Honshu Montane Forests Secondary Area. Uncommon; declining. No reliable population estimates; further study needed.... read more

Recommended citation

Copete, J.L. (2020). Yellow Bunting (Emberiza sulphurata). 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 29 February 2020).