Emberiza Hortulana  is relatively long-billed, rather round-headed, and rather plump bunting. Epitome of trio which also includes E. buchanani and E. caesia and displays in all plumages common characters of bright eye-ring, pale sub-moustachial stripe contrasting with dark malar stripe, and rufous or at least warm buff underparts. Male shows diagnostic olive-toned head and breast isolating yellow throat. Female and immature less distinctive, requiring careful separation from allies. Sexes dissimilar, little seasonal variation.

Ortolan Buntingis a widespread summer visitor to much of Europe, which constitutes 50% of its global breeding range. Its European breeding population is very large (5,200,000 pairs), but underwent a large decline between 1970-1990. Although the species was stable in some countries-most notably its Turkish stronghold-during 1990-2000, it continued to decline across much of Europe, and underwent a small decline overall. Its population has clearly not yet recovered to the level that preceded its decline.
This bunting inhabits major parts of Europe and western Asia. It winters in sub-Saharan Africa, from Guinea to Ethiopia. The population of the European Union (12 Member States) is estimated at 240000-300000 breeding pairs, 75-80% of which inhabit Spain. It is nevertheless undergoing a strong decline. It has already disappeared from many regions, and its distribution is increasingly fragmented

Very varied, from high boreal through temperate, Mediterranean, and steppe zones, and to mountain zones at C 1500 – 2500 m in south of range. Attracted to trees, even breeding in forest glades and clearings, as well as pine forests, tree plantations, forest steppe with birch trees, slopes of low mountains overgrown with grass and small pistachio trees, and orchards. Contrastingly, occurs freely in steep ravines, on bare alluvial deposits, and on rocky ground scantily covered with prickly shrubs. Favours regions of high sunshine and low rainfall, regardless of latitude, and where food is readily available will spread widely over cultivated open land. Does not avoid banks of rivers and lakes but shows little attraction to wetlands, or to human settlement, especially cities.

Breeding starts Mid April to late June in Sweden, May to mid Juen in North West Russia, mid April to July in Spain, May-July in Turkey and Israel. The nest site is built on the ground usually in cereals or other arable crop, often potatoes, frequently in depression in soil so top of nest-rim flush with ground, otherwise in vineyards, forest clearings, on rocky slopes, or in thick grass heather, sheltered by overhanging rock or foliage. The nest is mad of a foundation of stalks, stems, roots, and leaves lined with fine grasses, rootlets, and hair. Sometimes when flush with soil, cup has no real foundation, and rough material arranged wreath-like on ground. Clutch size 4-5 eggs, Incubation 11-12 days, by female only.

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