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Order Song birds/Passeriformes, Family Buntings/Emberizidae

Black-headed Bunting/Emberiza melanocephala - Female

L 15½-17½ cm. Very close relative of Redheaded Bunting, and the two hybridize locally. Breeds in open, dry country with bushes, often in farmland with scattered tree clumps, in vineyards and orchards, in riverine woodland, at forest edge and in glades, as well as on drier mountain slopes with thorn bushes and isolated trees. Summer visitor (in Greece mainly early May-end Jul), winters in India. Not shy.
IDENTIFICATION: Fairly large, a trifle bigger than Red-headed, and similarly long-tailed. Lacks white on tail. - male: Unmistakable. Apart from black hood, note unstreaked red-brown upperparts. - female: Very like Redheaded and often difficult to separate in field. Has slightly longer bill and sometimes faint red-brown tone to the dull grey-brown mantle/back. Rump dull brown or tinged yellow-brown (never has green tinge of some Redheaded). In addition, crown is sometimes more distinctly dark-streaked and ear-coverts a little darker. - 1st-winter: Very like Red-headed (see above) and often not safely separable in the field.
VOICE: Most calls are very like those of the closely related Red-headed Bunting, and because of some variation in articulation (in both species) safe field separation based on voice alone is impossible. Song as Red-headed’s (above).

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