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Emberiza caesia

warning Vulnerable
VU (C1)

Contributed: Avner Rinot, Asaf Mayrose, Yoav Perlman, Lior Kislev, Yosef Kiat, Ezra Hadad, Tuvia Kahn, Itay Shimshon, Yuvak Dax

Cretzschmar's Bunting is classified as Vulnerable (VU) because of the continued decline in its population size and range. The rate of decline is estimated at more than 10% over three generations (10.8 years). In the previous edition of the Red Book (2002), it was classified as Near Threatened (NT). The change in its status reflects a decline in the population size and range.
VU Current Regional Assessment | NT Previous Regional Assessment | LC World Assessment

Habitats Rocky Terrain, Mediterranean Batha, Semi-desert Batha, Parks & Woodlands
Presence In Israel Summer Breeder, Migrant
Nesting In Israel Breeder
Migration Types Long Range
Zoography Zones Mediterranean, Irano-Turanian
Landscape Formations Mountainous
Vegetation Formations Mediterranean Garrigue, Steppe
Vegetation Densities Low, Medium
Nest Locations Ground
Diet Types Invertebrate, Herbivore
Foraging Grounds Ground
Body Sizes Small (up to 500g)
Threat Factors Plantations, Habitat Fragmentation, Aforestation

Cretzschmar's Bunting is a medium-sized, slender, delicate bunting. The male has conspicuous plumage: bluish-grey head, dark brown throat and moustache, and a buffish-chestnut belly. The females and juveniles are paler and their plumage is grey-brown. Most individuals have a white eye-ring.
Its flight call is sharp and short, “cheep” and its song melodious, composed of a series of rising and falling whistles. Outside the breeding seasonת, Cretzschmar's Buntings form small flocks. It is a common passage migrant in both migration seasons and a relatively rare summer breeder. It nests in scrubland, shrubland and sparse native woodland on Mt. Hermon, the Golan Heights, the Eastern Galilee, Mt. Gilboa and the Judean and Samarian mountains south to the Northern Negev. Its decline is very pronounced in central and western Israel, and it is relatively common today only in the Golan Heights and the Mt. Hermon slopes.

No specific conservation measures have been taken for this species to date.

  • ישראלי, נ. ופרלמן, י. 2013. סיכום סקר עופות מקננים בחרמון. דו"ח מרכז הצפרות של החברה להגנת הטבע.
  • פז, ע. 1986. עופות. מתוך אלון, ע. (עורך), החי והצומח של ארץ ישראל. כרך 6. הוצאת משרד הביטחון, ישראל.
Contributed: Avner Rinot, Asaf Mayrose, Yoav Perlman, Lior Kislev, Yosef Kiat, Ezra Hadad, Tuvia Kahn, Itay Shimshon, Yuvak Dax

Current Occupancy Map

Distribution maps

The maps presented here provide visual information on the distribution of species in Israel in the past and present, and the changes in occupancy and nesting density during the comparison period. For further reading

Relative Abundance 2010-2020

Breeding density values as calculated from observation records and expert opinions.

Relative Abundance 1980-1990

Breeding density values are based mainly on the book Birds of Israel (Shirihai 1996).

Occupancy difference 1990-2020

A map that expresses differences in the breeding distribution between the evaluation periods (1980-1990 versus 2010-2020). Negative value - species previously present but is currently absent, positive value - species has not been recorded previously and is currently present, zero - no change in occupancy.

Relative abundance difference 1990-2020

A map that reflects the changes in the relative abundance of the species between the evaluation periods (1980-1990 versus 2010-2020). Negative values - decline in abundance, positive values - increase in abundance, zero - no change in abundance.

Red number

IUCN category

() districts
% of protected sites

Other Species

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