Rufous-backed bunting

Rufous-backed bunting
Emberiza jankowskii

(Photo from Serinus Africanos)
Common name:

Order Passeriformes
Family Emberizidae
This species is found in north-eastern China, in the provinces of Heilongjiand and Julin, in extreme north-eastern North Korea and marginally across the border into Russia.
These birds are 16 cm long.
The rufous-backed bunting is mostly found in temperate grasslands with scattered scrubs and small trees, and to a lesser extent in scrublands.

They feed on the ground, eating the seeds of native grasses and scrubs.

Rufous-backed buntings breed in April-July. The nest is placed on the ground, near the base of a small tree or scrub. It is made of leaves and grasses and lined with hair. The female lays 4-7 greyish white eggs with purplish markings, which she incubates alone for 11-14 days. The chicks fledge 10-13 days after hatching.

IUCN status – EN (Endangered)
This species has a relatively large breeding range, but the global population is estimated at just 250-1.000 individuals. Although accurate population surveys are lacking, there are reports of extremely rapid declines in many locations where the species was formerly abundant, suggesting a very rapid population decline of 50-80% in recent years. The main cause for this decline is habitats loss through the conversion of natural habitats for agriculture and pasture and possibly also forestry. Disturbance by humans and grazing cattle also cause low reproductive success. Fires and predation by snakes, rats and Amur falcons Falco amurensis may also have a negative impact on this endangered species.

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