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Emberiza hortulana

warning Vulnerable
VU (D1)

Contributed: Lior Kislev, Avner Rinot

The Ortolan Bunting is classified as Vulnerable (VU) because of the extremely small breeding population, estimated at less than 50 mature individuals, combined with a regional adjustment for the fact that the breeding population on Mt. Hermon is a marginal population at the edge of its global range. In the previous edition of the Red Book (2002), it was classified as Least Concern (LC). The change in the species’ status reflects the improved information regarding the species’ range (Israeli & Perlman 2013), as well as differences in assessment methods between the editions.
VU Current Regional Assessment | LC Previous Regional Assessment | LC World Assessment

Habitats Rocky Terrain, Alpine Scrubland, Mountainous Forest
Presence In Israel Summer Breeder, Migrant
Nesting In Israel Breeder
Migration Types Long Range
Zoography Zones Alpine
Landscape Formations Mountainous
Vegetation Formations Mediterranean Garrigue, Steppe
Vegetation Densities Low, Medium
Nest Locations Ground
Diet Types Herbivore
Foraging Grounds Ground, Trees and Shrubs
Body Sizes Small (up to 500g)
Threat Factors Unknown

The Ortolan Bunting is a small, slender bunting. The adult males can be identified by their uniform greyish-olive head, moustache and chest, yellow throat and rusty orange belly. The females and juveniles are duller and greyish-brown. Its flight calls are short and harsh, but their song is loud and melodious. Outside of the breeding season it feeds mostly on seeds, but their nestlings are fed mainly insects.

Common throughout Israel during both migration seasons and a rare breeder on the upper Mt. Hermon.

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: Lior Kislev, Avner Rinot

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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