Wildlife in Italy: Blackhammer Emberiza cirlus Linnaeus, 1766

Wildlife in Italy: Blackhammer Emberiza cirlus Linnaeus, 1766

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Systematic classification and distribution

Class: Birds
Order: Passeriformi
Family: Buntings
Kind: Bunting
Species: IS. cirlus Linnaeus, 1766

It is widespread in most southern European countries (Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, the Balkans, Greece, Bulgaria) in Turkey and the Maghreb.

Blackhammer - Emberiza cirlus (photo Paco Gomez)

Blackhammer - Emberiza cirlus (photo

Bunting Eggs - Emberiza cirlus
(Emberiza cirlus MHNT.ZOO.2010.11.216 St Moré Yonne by Didier Descouens - Own work. With CC BY-SA 4.0 license via Wikimedia Commons - .216_St_Mor% C3% A9_Yonne.jpg # / media / files: Emberiza_cirlus_MHNT.ZOO.2010.11.216_St_Mor% C3% A9_Yonne.jpg)

Distinctive characters

Length: 16.5-17.5 cm
Wingspan: 24-27 cm

The adult male in summer dress has brown and gray upper parts with evident blackish streaks; the rump is gray - olive and also the top, the neck and the upper chest have this background color with thin blackish streaks only on the top and a little on the nape. The sides of the head are yellow and crossed by a black streak that starts from the base of the beak, crosses the eye and reaches the nape of the neck. The throat is black and delimited at the bottom by a thin yellow band. The hips start from the brown fawn of the lower chest and fade with streaks towards the thing with a pinkish background. The low chest in the center, the abdomen and the belly are yellow. The legs are light brown and the beak is gray with blue shades. Adult males in winter clothes the black and yellow parts of the garment that become more dull and dirty. The adult females in summer dress look very similar to the males in most of the plumage with the differences of the head which have a more pale yellow and the throat which is yellow with thin blackish streaks and fades on the high chest which is olive gray with blackish streaks. Juveniles have coloring and pattern similar to females with the difference that the background color of chest, throat and head is pinkish instead of yellow.


It nests near the ground or on the bushes or even on the trees, but at the bottom; the nest, prepared by the female, is intertwined with stems, with a lot of moss. The eggs are 4-5 for hatching, bluish or greenish or still gray-violet, spotted with black. Similar to the other species of the genus Emberiza, the blackhammer is granivorous with an omnivorous tendency. It feeds on seeds, insects and larvae.

Video: TOP Wildlife Encounters of the Galapagos Islands Part 1 (July 2022).


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