Buntings and New World Sparrows (Emberizidae)

Ortolan Bunting (Emberiza hortulana) - HBW 16, p. 516

French: Bruant ortolan German: Ortolan Spanish: Escribano Hortelano

Taxonomy: Emberiza hortulana Linnaeus, 1758, Sweden.
Forms a species group with E. buchanani, E. cineracea and E. caesia. Proposed race elisabethae (Uliastai, in NW Mongolia) claimed to differ in colour intensity, but these differences seem to be due to individual variability. Monotypic.

Distribution: Breeds in Europe from N Fennoscandia (almost reaching Arctic Circle) S, very patchily, to N Portugal, C Spain (including Balearic Is), S France, N Italy, Greece, Crete, Turkey and N Israel, extending E across European Russia, Ukraine and N Caspian region to N Kazakhstan and Altai and Khangai Ranges in NW & WC Mongolia and, in S, through Caucasus, N Iraq and N Iran to borders of Turkmenistan; also N Africa (coastal Algeria). Non-breeding range not well known, probably mountains along S fringes of Sahara, where recorded Sierra Leone, Guinea, Ghana and Nigeria in W, and E Chad and SE Sudan E to Ethiopia and Eritrea in E, and probably includes Yemen and Oman.