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|CORN BUNTING (MILIARIA CALANDRA)|
The prolonged song of the male corn bunting, resembling nothing so much as the jangling of a bunch of keys, was once a far more familiar sound. This bird, is a fairly plain brown coloured bird, easily overlooked when compared to its more colourful relatives. The song is delivered from a perch, sometimes quite close to the ground. In short flights, corn buntings tend to fly with their legs hanging down, a feature that can help with identification in the field.
Although common in southern Europe, the corn bunting is declining throughout its northern range.
Male corn buntings have a colourful sex life, and individuals have been known to mate with as many as 18 different females in a single breeding season. The male plays no part in incubating the eggs but does sometimes help with feeding the young. Three to five eggs are laid between late May and July, in a nest of dried grass built by the female in arable crops or rough grassy margins. The young are fed on insects, and the birds may produce two broods in the season, although one is more usual. Whilst adult corn buntings are primarily seedeaters, like many other seed-eating birds, they feed their young on invertebrates. They take weed seeds, as well as cereal.
The corn bunting has probably declined due to changes in farming practices, especially the reduction in mixed farming. Extensive use of pesticides has reduced the numbers of arable weed species, an important food source for the adults, and insects, vital for rearing chicks. The switch from spring to autumn-sown cereals and consequent loss of weeds and stubbles, is probably a vital cause of the population drop, as it has led to the loss of both nesting and feeding habitats.
The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion. For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
bluesky1975, Alan_Kolnik has marked this note useful
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- [2017-12-11 11:38]
Hi Marius,a magnificent minimalistic composition,the quality of sharpness is fantastic,just a bit undersaturated but absolutely great. Have a nice evening and thanks,Luciano
- [2017-12-12 5:27]
Beautiful sharp detailed photo of this Corn Bunting in a pleasing omposition.
The composition is so pleasing and beautiful. The sharpness & the details are fantastic.
Lovely sharp shot, excellent colors standing out against the blue. Very interesting note as well.