Yellow-breasted Bunting

The yellow-breasted bunting (Binomial name- Emberiza aureola) is a perching bird or songbird in the bunting family that is found across the Boreal and East Palearctic.

Key Points for UPSC Prelims

  • The small passerine bird has a length of 14 to 16 cm and a weight of 17 to 26 g. It is a large and stocky bird in comparison to the birds of the bunting family.
  • The breeding male bird has bright yellow underparts with brown upperparts, black flank streaks, a black face, and a pink lower jaw (mandible).
  • The female yellow-breasted bunting has less intensely yellow underparts and a streaked grey-brown back. The female birds have a whitish face with dark crown, eye, and cheek stripes.
  • It migrates during winter to south-east Asia, India, and southern China. In China, the bird is heavily hunting for eating.
  • Until 2004, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) considered the bird to be a species of least concern.
  • In 2020, it placed the species in the status of Critically Endangered due to rapid dips in population sizes.

Yellow-breasted bunting spotted in Karnataka

Recently, the yellow-breasted bunting was sighted in Mangaluru. The bird (male) was spotted at Jokatte on the outskirts of the city. It is the first time that the yellow-breasted bunting has been sighted in Karnataka. Before this, it has been seen in Kerala and Goa.

As per a study by BirdLife International, the UK, and Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), the population of the yellow-breasted bunting has declined by 90% from being the most abundant bird of Eurasia.

BirdLife International

Established in the year 1922, BirdLife International is a partnership of non-governmental organizations working together for the conservation and protection of birds and their habitats. It is headquartered in Cambridge, UK. It has 116 country partners which include the National Audubon Society, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, the Wild Bird Society of Japan, and the American Bird Conservancy.

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