Black-headed Bunting

Emberiza melanocephala




Emberizids (Emberizidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

Green blue with brown and gray speckles.

Number of Eggs:

4 - 6

Incubation Days:


Egg Incubator:


Nest Location:

Nests are built in a low bush or shrub.

Nest Material:

Twigs, grass and hair.





Black-headed Bunting: Small yellow bunting with black hood, and chestnut on back, rump, and sides of breast. Gray-black wings with light brown edging and one white bar in shoulder. Rather heavy, conical, gray bill. Slightly forked, brown-gray tail. Legs and feet pink-brown. Winter female and juvenile like male but much paler, gray-brown instead of chestnut, and streaks on back and crown. Often found in flocks that forage for seeds and small insects on ground in grassy, open areas.

Breeding and Nesting

Black-headed Bunting: Four to six green blue eggs with brown and gray speckles are laid in a cup nest made of twigs, grass, and lined with hair. Nest is built in a low bush or shrub and is sometimes decorated with bright flowers. Eggs are incubated by the female for 13 days, nestlings fledge after 10 days.

Foraging and Feeding

Black-headed Bunting: Feeds on seeds of grass, weeds, and other open country plant species. Also eats insects and other small creatures, especially during the breeding season. This bunting species often occurs in flocks of the same species and forages for seeds and insects by picking them off of the ground and from low vegetation in open areas


Black-headed Bunting: Song is series of "zrit" notes which soften and accelerate towards the end of the phrase, as in "zrit zrit srutt-srutt sutteri-sutt sutterrih". On breeding grounds, they produce a variety of "chiip" calls. Flight call is a rapid "zrit."

Similar Species

Black-headed Bunting: Naricssus Flycatcher has a black cap, back wings and tail, yellow eyebrow, undersides and rump, a thin bill; it is also a very rare vagrant in this range.

The upper front part of a bird.
The crown is the top part of the birds head.
The area between the uppertail coverts and the back of the bird.
The short feathers overlying the median secondary coverts on the top of the wing. They are located near the back and can be seen as the “first row” of feathers on the birds wing. They are also called marginal coverts and lesser secondary coverts.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X