Buntings and New World Sparrows (Emberizidae)

Yellow-breasted Bunting (Emberiza aureola) - HBW 16, p. 527

French: Bruant auréole German: Weidenammer Spanish: Escribano Aureolado
Other common names: White-shouldered/Golden Bunting

Taxonomy: Emberiza aureola Pallas, 1773, Irtysh River, south-central Siberia, Russia.
Sometimes placed in a separate genus, Ocyris. Recent phylogenetic study suggests that this species is closely related to E. pusilla, E. rustica, E. rutila, E. sulphurata and E. spodocephala, forming a subclade with them; it has been suggested that they form a polytomous group of species, probably the result of a rapid, “simultaneous” radiation. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • aureola Pallas, 1773 - breeds E Finland and W Russia E to Kamchatka, S to N Ukraine, N Kazakhstan and W & C Mongolia; winters in S & SE Asia.
  • ornata Shulpin, 1928 - breeds E Transbaikalia and NE Mongolia E to NE China (Heilongjiang), Sea of Okhotsk coast, Sakhalin I, and N Japan and Kuril Is; winters in S China.