Striolated Bunting  Emberiza striolata


  • Emberiza : Old German name Embritz for a bunting
  • Striolata : Latin word for finely striped

Vernacular Names: Guj: Laherio gandam, Mar: Rekhankit Bharit

Distribution in India: Breeds in Ladhak, winter visitor in North West India.

Description: Size of 12–13 cm; wt. of 12–16 g. It is a small, slender bunting with more “scruffily” striped face and the outer tail is edged rufous. The male of nominate race has head, neck, throat and upper breast as grey, streaked blackish. It has a whitish supercilium, cheek stripe, submoustachial stripe and central throat. The upperparts are cinnamon-rufous, heavily streaked dark grey-brown. The flight-feathers are dark brown with cinnamon margins. The lower breast and belly are washed cinnamon. The iris is brown; bill is blackish above, lower mandible is yellow, sometimes with dark tip; legs are pale pinkish-brown. The female is duller than male, has sandy-brown head streaked darker on crown, buffy supercilium. The juvenile is duller than female, has uniform bill.

Habitat: It is found in rocky areas with arid scrub, usually near water. In winter may occur around cultivation.

Food habits:It eats mainly seeds of grasses and herbs, flowers, berries and insects. It forages mainly on ground; also takes seeds directly from grass-heads. It sometimes flutters into air to grab a stem with seed head, pulls it to ground, and then stands on it while taking seeds. It frequently visits water to drink. It forms small flocks after breeding and in winter.

Breeding habits: They breed in Mar–Jun, timing and extent of breeding linked to local rainfall. They have 2-3 broods per season. They are Monogamous and breeds singly. They are territorial. The male advertises by singing from elevated perch, occasionally from ground. The nest is built by female, male will assist. The nest is a neat cup of grass and fine plant stems, placed on ground or in crevice on rock face, site usually sheltered from sun by overhanging rock. They lay a clutch of 2–4 eggs. The incubation is by female. The incubation period is 12–14 days. Both parents feed the chicks. The nestling period is 12–14 days.