Red-headed Bunting Emberiza bruniceps


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 does not normally occur in forest
Land mass type Average mass 25 g

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 5,780,000
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 1,860,000
Number of locations -
Severely Fragmented -
Population and trend
Value Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals unknown not applicable not applicable 0
Population trend stable 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: The global population size has not been quantified. In Europe, the breeding population is estimated to number 2,300-7,000 pairs, which equates to 4,600-14,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015), but Europe forms <5% of the global range.

Trend justification: The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats. The very small European population is estimated to be increasing (BirdLife International 2015).

Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Presence Origin Resident Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Afghanistan extant native yes
Bangladesh extant native
Belgium extant vagrant
China (mainland) extant native
Czechia extant vagrant
France extant vagrant
Germany extant vagrant
India extant native
Iran, Islamic Republic of extant native yes
Iraq extant vagrant
Israel extant vagrant
Italy extant vagrant
Kazakhstan extant native yes
Kuwait extant native yes yes
Kyrgyzstan extant native yes
Mongolia extant native yes
Nepal extant native
Netherlands extant vagrant
Norway extant vagrant
Oman extant vagrant yes
Pakistan extant native
Russia extant native yes
Russia (Central Asian) extant native yes
Russia (European) extant native yes
Saudi Arabia extant vagrant yes
Spain extant vagrant
Sri Lanka extant vagrant yes
Sweden extant vagrant
Switzerland extant vagrant
Syria extant vagrant yes
Tajikistan extant native yes
Turkey extant vagrant
Turkmenistan extant native yes
United Arab Emirates extant vagrant yes
Uzbekistan extant native yes

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
Iran, Islamic Republic of Hamoun-i Sabari and Hamoun-i Hirmand
Iran, Islamic Republic of Hari Rud valley near Sarrakhs
Iran, Islamic Republic of Lotfatabad and Darregaz area
Kazakhstan Altyn-Emel National Park
Kazakhstan Arys-Karaktau State Reserved Zone
Kazakhstan Ili River Delta
Kazakhstan Kapchagay Canyon
Kazakhstan Kenshektau Mountains
Kazakhstan Sagyz
Kazakhstan Topar Lake System
Kazakhstan Uil River and Taysoygan Sands
Kazakhstan Zhagabulak Forest
Kazakhstan Zhusandala
Tajikistan Sarazm
Turkmenistan Badhyz
Turkmenistan Chokrak-Tutly
Turkmenistan Delili - Garajabatyr
Turkmenistan Garabil
Turkmenistan Garachop
Turkmenistan Garadegish
Turkmenistan Garashor
Turkmenistan Gurykhovudan
Turkmenistan Koymat - Begarslan
Turkmenistan Kurendag - Garagoz
Turkmenistan Mergen
Turkmenistan Muskinata
Turkmenistan Nargyz
Turkmenistan Repetek
Turkmenistan Saryyazy
Turkmenistan Tejen
Turkmenistan Tekejik - Biynekyr
Turkmenistan Uly Balkan
Turkmenistan Uzboy
Uzbekistan Akpetky lakes and surrounding Aralkum Desert
Uzbekistan Karakyr Lakes
Uzbekistan Karnabchul Steppe
Uzbekistan Kattakurgan Reservoir
Uzbekistan Khodzha-Davlet
Uzbekistan Northern part of the Assake-Audan depression
Uzbekistan Northern shore of Aydarkul Lake
Uzbekistan Vardanzi
Uzbekistan Zarafshan State Nature Reserve

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Artificial/Terrestrial Arable Land suitable breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Arable Land suitable non-breeding
Grassland Temperate suitable breeding
Grassland Temperate suitable non-breeding
Shrubland Temperate suitable breeding
Shrubland Temperate suitable non-breeding
Altitude   Occasional altitudinal limits  

Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Food - human - - non-trivial recent
Pets/display animals, horticulture - - non-trivial recent

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Species factsheet: Emberiza bruniceps. Downloaded from on 08/06/2023. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2023) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 08/06/2023.