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 19.89999962 g
Extent of occurrence (EOO)

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 20,200,000
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 8,250,000
Number of locations -
Fragmentation -
Population and trend
Estimate 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 - - -
Largest subpopulations - - -
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
Czech Republic 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
Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of N Extant Yes
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
Norway N Extant Yes
Oman N Extant Yes
Palestinian Authority Territories 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
Austria Inn valley between Stams and Haiming
Bulgaria Devetashko Plateau
Bulgaria Kamchiyska Mountain
Bulgaria Ludogorie
Bulgaria Mesta Valley
Bulgaria Provadiysko-Royaksko plateau
Bulgaria Sredna Gora
Bulgaria Strandzha
Bulgaria Studenets
Bulgaria Western Balkan
Bulgaria Zlatiata
Croatia Gorski Kotar and Northern Lika
Croatia Mount Biokovo and Rilic
Croatia Mount Ucka and Cicarija
Croatia Mount Velebit
Croatia Mt Dinara
Czech Republic Hovoransko-Cejkovicko
Estonia Lahemaa
Estonia Väinameri
France Forêt de Saou
France Gorges de la Vis et cirque de Navacelles
France Hautes garrigues du Montpellierais
France Hautes Vallées d'Aspe et d'Ossau
France Les Couzes Nord
France Massif du Petit Lubéron
France Minervois
France Montagne de la Clape
France Montagnes de Marcou, de l'Espinouse et du Caroux
France Parc National des Ecrins
France Plaine des Maures
France Plaines de Mirebeau et de Neuville-du-Poitou
France Vallée de la Loire : gorges de la Loire
Greece Filiouri river valley and east Rodopi mountains
Greece Kompsatos valley
Greece Mount Iti
Greece Mounts Kato Olympos and Ossa, and Tembi ravine
Italy Albegna river valley
Italy Carso
Italy Gran Sasso and Laga mountains
Italy Magredi of Pordenone
Italy Maritime Alps
Italy Middle valley of Tagliamento river
Italy Mount Conero
Italy River Po from Dora Baltea mouth to Scrivia mouth
Italy Valli di Comacchio and Bonifica del Mezzano
Lithuania Nemunas delta regional Park
Moldova Congaz – Taraclia Lakes
Portugal Estrela Mountains
Portugal Gerês mountains
Portugal Montesinho and Nogueira mountains
Romania Allah Bair - Capidava
Romania Almăjului Mountains - Locvei
Romania Dobrogei gorge
Romania Dorohoi - Şaua Bucecei
Romania Dumbrăveni - Plopeni
Romania Dunăre - Canarale - Hârşova
Romania Dunărea Veche (Braţul Măcin)
Romania Măcin - Niculiţel
Romania Nerei gorge - Beuşniţa
Russia (European) Buzulukski forest
Russia (European) Flood-plain of Alatyr' river in vicinity of Ardatov
Russia (European) Insaro-Kovylkinski
Russia (European) Karabash-Kudashskaya forest-steppe
Russia (European) Zhigulevski Nature Reserve
Slovenia Karst

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 (2018) Species factsheet: Emberiza hortulana. Downloaded from on 23/09/2018. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2018) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 23/09/2018.