Ortolan Bunting Emberiza hortulana


Taxonomic source(s)
AERC TAC. 2003. AERC TAC Checklist of bird taxa occurring in Western Palearctic region, 15th Draft. Available at: # _the_WP15.xls#.
Cramp, S. and Simmons, K.E.L. (eds). 1977-1994. Handbook of the birds of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The birds of the western Palearctic. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A., Fishpool, L.D.C., Boesman, P. and Kirwan, G.M. 2016. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Volume 2: Passerines. Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.

IUCN Red list criteria met and history
Red List criteria met
Critically Endangered Endangered Vulnerable
- - -

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
2016 Least Concern
2012 Least Concern
2009 Least Concern
2008 Least Concern
2004 Least Concern
2000 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1994 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1988 Lower Risk/Least Concern
Species attributes

Migratory status full migrant Forest dependency Low
Land mass type Average mass 20 g

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 20,200,000
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 8,250,000
Number of locations -
Severely Fragmented -
Population and trend
Value Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 8000000-17999999 poor estimated 2012
Population trend Decreasing suspected -
Decline (3 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (5 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation future) - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation past and future) - - -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Percentage in largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 3.6 - - -

Population justification: In Europe, the breeding population is estimated to number 3,330,000-7,070,000 pairs, which equates to 6,660,000-14,100,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015). Europe forms c.80% of the global range, so a very preliminary estimate of the global population size is 8,325,000-17,625,000 mature individuals, placed here in the range 8,000,000-17,999,999 mature individuals, although further validation of this estimate is needed.

Trend justification: The population is suspected to be in decline owing to ongoing habitat destruction. Between 1980 and 2013 the European population underwent a steep decline (EBCC 2015).

Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Resident Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Afghanistan V Extant
Albania N Extant Yes
Algeria N Extant
Andorra N Extant Yes
Armenia N Extant Yes
Austria N Extant Yes
Azerbaijan N Extant Yes
Bahrain N Extant Yes
Belarus N Extant Yes
Belgium N Extant Yes
Benin V Extant
Bosnia and Herzegovina N Extant Yes
Bulgaria N Extant Yes
Cameroon V Extant
Chad N Extant
China (mainland) N Extant
Côte d'Ivoire N Extant
Croatia N Extant Yes
Cyprus N Extant Yes
Czechia N Extant Yes
Denmark N Extant Yes
Djibouti N Extant
Egypt N Extant
Eritrea N Extant
Estonia N Extant Yes
Ethiopia N Extant
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) V Extant
Finland N Extant Yes Yes
France N Extant Yes Yes
Georgia N Extant Yes
Germany N Extant Yes Yes
Gibraltar (to UK) N Extant
Greece N Extant Yes Yes
Guinea N Extant
Hungary N Extant Yes
Iceland V Extant
Iran, Islamic Republic of N Extant Yes Yes
Iraq N Extant Yes
Ireland N Extant
Israel N Extant
Italy N Extant Yes Yes
Japan V Extant
Jordan N Extant Yes
Kazakhstan N Extant Yes
Kenya V Extant
Kuwait N Extant Yes
Latvia N Extant Yes
Lebanon N Extant Yes Yes
Libya N Extant
Liechtenstein N Extant
Lithuania N Extant Yes
Luxembourg V Extant
Mali N Extant
Malta N Extant
Mauritania N Extant
Moldova N Extant Yes
Mongolia N Extant Yes
Montenegro N Extant Yes
Morocco N Extant
Netherlands N Extant Yes
Nigeria N Extant
North Macedonia N Extant Yes
Norway N Extant Yes
Oman N Extant Yes
Palestine N Extant Yes
Poland N Extant Yes
Portugal N Extant Yes
Qatar N Extant Yes
Romania N Extant Yes
Russia N Extant Yes
Russia (Asian) N Extant Yes
Russia (Central Asian) N Extant Yes
Russia (European) N Extant Yes
Saudi Arabia N Extant Yes
Senegal N Extant
Serbia N Extant Yes
Seychelles V Extant
Sierra Leone N Extant
Slovakia N Extant Yes
Slovenia N Extant Yes
Somalia N Extant
South Korea V Extant
Spain N Extant Yes
Sudan N Extant Yes
Sweden N Extant Yes
Switzerland N Extant Yes
Syria N Extant Yes Yes
Tajikistan V Extant
Tunisia N Extant
Turkey N Extant Yes
Turkmenistan N Extant Yes
Uganda N Extant
Ukraine N Extant Yes
United Arab Emirates N Extant Yes
United Kingdom N Extant Yes
Uzbekistan N Extant
Western Sahara N Extant
Yemen N Extant Yes Yes

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
Cyprus Cape Greco
Serbia Vršačke Planine
Serbia Deliblatska pescara
Serbia Fruska gora
Belarus Lower Pripyat
Belarus Biarezinski zapaviednik
Lithuania Metelys, Dusia & Obelija lakes
Portugal Montesinho and Nogueira mountains
Portugal Gerês mountains
Bulgaria Central Balkan
Romania Niculitel and Babadag forest
Romania Hagieni forest
Slovenia Goričko
Slovenia Karst
Belgium Gebieden gelegen te Peer en Hechtel-Eksel
Moldova Tigheci Forest
Moldova Purcari - Etulia
Moldova Congaz – Taraclia Lakes
Sweden Färnebofjärden
Sweden Lake Hornborga
Sweden Lake Tåkern
Sweden Lake Tämnaren
Poland Liwiec river valley
Poland Middle Warta River Valley
Poland Kampinos forest
Poland Luknajno lake
Poland Pisz forest
Poland Augustów forest
Greece Mount Cholomontas
Greece Mesolongi and Aitoliko lagoons, Acheloos delta and Evinos estuary
Greece Mount Parnassos
Greece Mount Oiti
Greece Mount Ochi and surrounding marine area
Greece Mount Dikti, Crete
Greece Evrotas delta
Greece Mount Peristeri
Greece Nisyros island and surrounding islets
Greece Mount Gkiona
Greece Mount Vardousia
Greece Islands and islets of northern Sporades and northwestern coast of Alonnisos
Greece Kythira island
Greece Dionysades islets, Crete
Greece Antichasia mountains and Meteora
Greece Mount Vourinos
Greece Athamanika mountains (Tzoumerka)
Greece Kato Olympos, Tempi gorge and mount Ossa
Greece Filiouri valley and eastern Rodopi mountains
Greece Kompsatos valley
Greece Lake Kourna, Almyros delta and Georgioupolis coast, Crete
Greece Mount Kyllini (Ziria)
Greece Mount Chelmos (Aroania)
Greece Prespa National Park and Varnountas mountains
Greece Mount Mavrovouni, Larisa
Greece Southwestern Lesvos and Petrified forest
Greece Mount Lepetymnos, Lesvos, and surrounding marine area
Greece Gera gulf, Ntipi and Charamida marshes, Lesvos
Greece Mount Kantili
Greece Southern Mani, mount Sangias and cape Tainaro
Greece Mount Itamos
Greece Akarnanika mountains
Greece Tzena and Pinovo mountains
Greece Acheloos valley
Greece Asvestades - Vrysika area
Greece Kalloni Gulf, Lesvos
Greece Mount Beles (Kerkini)
Greece Mount Krousia (Mavrovouni and Dysoro)
Greece Mount Menoikio
Greece National Park of Dadia - Lefkimi - Soufli forest
Greece Tsamanta, Filiata, Farmakovouni and Megali Rachi mountains
Greece Samothraki island
Greece South forest complex of Evros prefecture
Greece Dadia - Dereio - Aisymi forest
Finland Ruissalo
Finland Mietoistenlahti bay
Finland Paimionlahti bay
Finland Köyliönjärvi and Pyhäjärvi lakes
Finland Puurijärvi-Isosuo wetlands
Finland Koskeljärvi, Vaaljärvi and Pitkäjärvi lakes
Finland Hanko western archipelago
Finland Artjärvi wetlands
Finland Kangasala wetlands
Finland Lake Pihlajavesi
Finland Patvinsuo National Park
Finland Värtsilä valley
Finland Alajoki
Finland Lålby fields
Russia (European) Buzulukski forest
Russia (European) Insaro-Kovylkinski
Russia (European) Moksha flood-plain in vicinity of Krasnoslobodsk
Russia (European) Flood-plain of Alatyr' river in vicinity of Ardatov
Russia (European) Zhigulevski Nature Reserve
Ukraine Dniprovs'ko-Oril's'kyj Nature Reserve
Ukraine Shats'ki lakes
Ukraine Velykomykhailivskyj forest
Ukraine Samars'kyj forest
France Haut Val d'Allier
France Vallée de la Loire : gorges de la Loire
France Les Couzes Nord
France Hautes Vallées d'Aspe et d'Ossau
France Arrière Côte de Dijon et de Beaune
France Montagne de la Clape
France Hautes Corbières
France Basses Corbières
France Gorges de la Vis et cirque de Navacelles
France Massif des Albères
France Massif du Canigou-Carança
France Gorges du Gardon
France Hautes garrigues du Montpellierais
France Minervois
France Montagnes de Marcou, de l'Espinouse et du Caroux
France Chaîne des Alpilles
France Montagne Sainte-Victoire
France Massif du Petit Lubéron
France Plateau de Valensole
France Plateau de l'Arbois, garrigues de Lancon et chaîne des Côtes
France Plaine des Maures
France Vallée de la Durance : de Tallard à Sisteron
France Vallée du Haut-Guil
France Bois du Chapitre
France Bec de Crigne
France Parc National du Mercantour
France Préalpes de Grasse
France Parc National des Ecrins
France Bois de Palayson, du Rouet et de Malvoisin
France Plaines de Mirebeau et de Neuville-du-Poitou
France Forêt de Saou
France Ile de la Platière
France Montagne de la Serre
France Pointe de Grave
France Haute Soule : Forêt d'Irraty, Organbidexka et Pic des Escaliers
France Réserve Naturelle du courant d'Huchet
France Etangs de la Woëvre: lac de Madine
France Cap Gris-nez
France Salins d'Hyères et de Pesquiers
France Marais de Manteyer
France Basse vallée du Var
France Plaine calcaire du sud Vendée
Italy Pian di Spagna and Lake Mezzola
Italy River Po: from the mouth of Adda river to Ostiglia
Italy Gran Sasso d'Italia
Italy Laga mountains
Italy Valli di Comacchio and Bonifica del Mezzano
Italy Ortazzo and Ortazzino
Italy Rieti mountains
Italy Ernici and Simbruini mountains
Italy Pollino
Italy Mount Conero
Italy Scrivia stream
Italy Magredi of Pordenone
Italy River Po from Dora Baltea mouth to Scrivia mouth
Italy Maritime Alps
Italy Carso
Italy Calvana mountains
Italy Alpi Apuane
Italy Stirone stream
Italy Middle valley of Tagliamento river
Czechia Doupov hills
Serbia Obedska bara
Serbia Cer mountain
Serbia Ovcar-Kablar gorge
Serbia Uvac-Milesevka
Serbia Prokletije
Serbia Stara mountains
Serbia Zlot gorge--Dubasnica
Serbia Derdap gorge
Andorra Pirineo de Andorra
Germany Unteres Rhinluch-Dreetzer See / Havelländisches Luch / Belziger Landschaftswiesen
Germany Lower Havel - Lake Schollene - Lake Gülpe
Germany Schorfheide-Chorin
Germany Isar valley: Gottfrieding - Plattling incl. Isar mouth
Germany Main valley near Volkach: Fahr-Dettelbach
Germany Middle Elbe valley with Steckby-Lödderitz forest
Germany Zerbster Land
Germany Drömling (Sachsen-Anhalt)
Germany Landgraben-Dumme lowlands
Germany Milde lowlands/Altmark
Germany Ponds and Elbe valley near Torgau
Germany Saale-Elster valley
Germany Drömling (Niedersachsen)
Germany Bogs and heathlands of the Westmünsterland
Germany Altmühl valley between Treuchtlingen and Leutershausen with Altmühlsee
Germany Spreewald
Germany Wahner Heide
Germany Danube valley: Neu-Ulm - Lauingen incl. Faiminger Stausee, Donau-Moos, and Gundelfinger Moos
Germany Wagbach lowlands
Germany Rietzer See
Germany Peitzer und Bärenbrücker Teiche
Germany Märkische Schweiz
Germany Lower Elbe valley
Germany Heubachniederung/ Schwarzes Venn/ Borkenberge/ Halterner Seen
Germany Landgraben and Dumme lowlands
Germany Lucie and Landwehr
Germany Diepholzer Moorniederung and Siedener Moor
Germany Elbe lowlands between Schnackenburg and Lauenburg
Germany Lowlands of middle Havel
Germany Oberes Rhinluch / Havelländisches Luch Nauen-Friesack
Germany Vorderer Steigerwald - Windsheimer Bucht - Steigerwald-Vorland
Germany Fiener Bruch
Germany Salziger See and Salza valley
Croatia Mt Dinara
Croatia Cetina River
Croatia Krka and Surrounding Plateau
Croatia Kornati National Park and Telascica Nature Park
Croatia Mount Velebit
Italy Gran Sasso and Laga mountains
Russia (European) Kasumkentski reserve
Russia (European) Issinski
Belarus Polesie Reserve
Estonia Lahemaa
Estonia Väinameri
Russia (European) Leninsk forest area
Czechia Hovoransko-Cejkovicko
Russia (European) Dedinovo flood-plain of Oka river
Latvia Gauja national park
Latvia Aiviekste flood-plain
Latvia Engure lake
Latvia Augsdaugava
Latvia Kemeri national park
Bulgaria Byala Reka
Bulgaria Harmanliyska Reka
Bulgaria Kresna Gorge
Bulgaria Madzharovo
Bulgaria Sakar
Bulgaria Ponor
Bulgaria Derventski Heights
Bulgaria Emine
Bulgaria Radinchevo
Bulgaria Galata
Bulgaria Batova
Bulgaria Bakarlaka
Bulgaria Vrachanski Balkan
Bulgaria Sinite Kamani-Grebenets
Bulgaria Western Strandzha
Bulgaria Karlukovski Karst
Bulgaria Arda Bridge
Bulgaria Melnik Pyramids
Bulgaria Dobrostan
Bulgaria Slavyanka Mountain
Bulgaria Vitosha Mountain
Bulgaria Trigrad-Mursalitsa
Bulgaria Mikre Meadows
Bulgaria Palakaria
Bulgaria Vasilyovska Mountain
Bulgaria Belite Skali
Bulgaria Ruy Mountain
Bulgaria Kamchia Complex
Portugal Estrela Mountains
France Monts et Plomb du Cantal
France Baie du Mont Saint Michel et Ile des Landes
France Lac du Der-Chantecoq et étangs latéraux
France Etangs Montpellierains
France Parc National des Cévennes
France Camargue
France Vallée de la Charente : amont d'Angoulême
France Anse de Fouras, baie d'Yves et marais de Rochefort
France Anse du Fiers d'Ars en Ré
France Le Pinail, Forêt de Moulière et bois du Défens
France Plaine de Saint-Jean-de-Sauves
France Baie de Bourgneuf et marais breton
France Les Couzes Sud
France Rive Gauche de la Vallée d'Aspe et Pic d'Anie
France Etangs de Leucate et Lapalme
France Etangs Narbonnais
France Etangs de Vendres, Pissevache et Lespignan
France Etangs de Canet et de Villeneuve-de-la-Raho et embouchure du Tech
France Gorges du Tarn et de la Jonte
France Gorges de la Dourbie et causses avoisinants
France Plaine de Niort (sud-est)
France Plaine de Villefagnan
France Val de Drôme: Les Ramières-printegarde
France Basse Ardêche
France Parc National de la Vanoise
Bulgaria Nikopolsko Plateau
Russia (European) Floodplain of Moksha river and Common Crane autumn aggegation near villages Khohlikha and Shaprikha
Russia (European) Floodplain of Rudnya river and surroundings
Iran, Islamic Republic of Arasbaran Protected Area
Iran, Islamic Republic of Parvar Protected Area
Iran, Islamic Republic of Khosh-Yeilagh
Iraq Benavi and Sararu
Iraq Dure
Iraq Amedi and Sulav
Bulgaria Strandzha
Bulgaria Provadiysko-Royaksko plateau
Bulgaria Ludogorie
Bulgaria Western Balkan
Bulgaria Studenets
Bulgaria Mesta Valley
Bulgaria Zlatiata
Bulgaria Devetashko Plateau
Bulgaria Kamchiyska Mountain
Bulgaria Sredna Gora
Austria Inn valley between Stams and Haiming
Ukraine Serednyotomakivske reservior
Sweden Kalmar – Pataholm
Poland Marshy valley of the Drweca river
Poland Bubnow Marsh
Poland Biebrza river valley
Poland Lower Bug river valley
Poland Upper Wisla River Valley
Poland Omulew and Plodownica Rivers Valleys
Poland Middle Bug river valley
Poland Tysmienica river valley
Poland Insko Site
Italy Ticino river
Poland Skoki Gravel-Pit
Poland Cedynia Site
Poland Forest at Drawa River
Poland Forest at Gwda River
Poland Zgierzynieckie Lake
Poland Middle Odra River Valley
Poland Rogalin Site
Poland Goplo Lake Site
Poland Skoki Gravel-Pit
Poland Krotoszyn Oak Forest
Poland Pilica River Valley
Poland Kozienicka Forest
Poland Dobskie Lake
Poland Wizna Swamps
Poland Kostrzyn River Valley
Poland Lukow Forests
Poland Notec Forest
Poland Samica Valley
Poland Mala Welna River Valley
Poland Podedworze Reservoir
Poland Mosty-Zahajki Site
Poland Polesie
Poland Nielisz Site
Poland Upper Huczwa River Catchment
Poland Solokija River Valley
Poland Upper Labunka River Valley
Italy Mount Beigua
Italy Gran Paradiso
Croatia Mount Biokovo and Rilic
Croatia Mount Ucka and Cicarija
Finland Maltio fjelds
Finland Oulu region wetlands
Finland Tammisaari and Inkoo western archipelago
Italy Albegna river valley
Italy Colfiorito
Italy Sibillini mountains
Italy Sirente, Velino and Duchessa mountains
Italy Maiella, Pizzi and Frentani mountains
Italy Abruzzo National Park
Lebanon Aammiq wetland
Germany Gohrischheide
Poland Upper Vistula River Valley
Russia (European) Rychkovskaya forest-steppe
Russia (European) Karabash-Kudashskaya forest-steppe
Germany Gülzower Holz and Rühlauer Forst
Germany Hohe Geest near Himbergen / Bad Bodenteich
Germany Farmlands north of Ludwigslust
Germany Farmlands between Crivitz and Parchim
Germany Military training area Munster-Nord
Germany Kuppendorfer Böhrde
Germany Farmlands Prignitz with Stepenitz valley (BB) and eastern Grabow (MV)
Germany Main valley and Steiger foothills near Schweinfurt and Volkach
Germany Drawehn
Germany Farmlands west and south of Plauer See
Germany Altengrabower Heide
Germany Lauenburgische Seen Nature Park and Schaalsee area
Germany Colblitz-Letzlinger Heide
Germany Farmlands near Kusey (Altmark)
Germany Nuthe - Nieplitz lowlands
Germany Elbe lowlands Jerichow
Germany Retzower Heide
Germany Glücksburger Heide
Germany Annaburger Heide
Romania Allah Bair - Capidava
Romania Dunăre - Canarale - Hârşova
Romania Dobrogei gorge
Romania Nerei gorge - Beuşniţa
Romania Dorohoi - Şaua Bucecei
Romania Dumbrăveni - Plopeni
Romania Dunărea Veche (Braţul Măcin)
Romania Almăjului Mountains - Locvei
Romania Măcin - Niculiţel
Lithuania Nemunas delta regional Park
Poland Swidwie Site
Poland Tuchola Forest
Poland Lower Vistula River Valley
Poland Gródek-Michalowo basin
Poland Upper Narew River Valley
Poland Lower Narew River Valley
Poland Upper Nurzec River Valley
Poland Biala Forest
Poland Notec river flood-plain
Poland Obra river flood-plain
Poland Slawskie Lakes
Poland Woniesc reservoir
Poland Jeziorsko reservoir
Poland Turawa reservoir
Poland Bzura River Valley
Poland Rakutowskie swamps
Poland Middle Vistula River Valley
Poland Calowanie Swamp
Poland Lower Silesia Forests
Poland Odra riverine forests
Poland Nida Rivar Valley
Poland Parczew forests
Poland Strzeleckie forests
Poland Janów forests
Poland Solska Forest
Poland Roztocze
Poland Beskid Wyspowy Mountains
Poland Grzeda Sokalska Beechwood
Poland Czarna River Valley
Poland Lower San River Valley
Poland Lower Wieprz River Valley
Poland Radlow Forest
Poland Wloszczowa Basin
Poland Kurpie Site
Poland Mircze Site
Poland Sandomierz Forest
Poland Sudety Wałbrzysko-Kamiennogorskie Mountains
Poland Elblag Height
Poland Sredzka Struga and Maskawa River Valley
Poland Siemianowka Reseirvoir
Russia (European) Yamskaya steppe and adjacent technical reservoirs
Croatia Gorski Kotar and Northern Lika
Greece Mount Koutroulis, Mount Agios Dikaios and Modia plateau, Crete
Greece Mount Kryoneritis, Crete
Greece Mount Kedros and Kourtaliotiko gorge, Crete
Greece Mount Asterousia (Kofinas), Crete
Serbia Toplica
Serbia Svrljisko pobrdje
Serbia Timocko pobrdje
Serbia Tupiznica and Beli Timok

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Artificial/Terrestrial Plantations suitable breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Plantations suitable non-breeding
Desert Temperate suitable breeding
Desert Temperate suitable non-breeding
Grassland Temperate suitable breeding
Grassland Temperate suitable non-breeding
Shrubland Mediterranean-type Shrubby Vegetation suitable breeding
Shrubland Mediterranean-type Shrubby Vegetation suitable non-breeding
Shrubland Temperate marginal resident
Altitude 0 - 2400 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Food - human - - Non-trivial Recent
Pets/display animals, horticulture - - International Non-trivial Recent
Sport hunting/specimen collecting - - Non-trivial Recent

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Species factsheet: Emberiza hortulana. Downloaded from on 28/03/2023. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2023) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 28/03/2023.