Bunting is a small bird of the family Sankovich. To meet her in Australia, New Zealand, Asia and Europe.
European population decreases each year, so for the last forty years the population has decreased by 50%. Today the bird is almost completely disappeared in England and Ireland, but in Asia it is spread all over.
Bunting – birds of passerine. The bird is represented by 29 species.
In Russia circulated the following types of oatmeal:
- pine and others.
The birds weight about 30 grams, body length is 18 cm
In the mating season obvious differences is the male Buntings common:
- Golden yellow plumage on the belly, chin, chest, top of head and cheeks;
- longitudinal line on the craw and breast;
- the peculiar olive-green pattern on the cheeks, the forehead and sides of head and back chestnut;
- wings dark brown;
- the tail is long, rump and upper tail coverts are chestnut coloured.
The color of the feathers of females are not so bright. Color pale yellow with a green tinge, the wings brown. Young has the same color as in females (regardless of the sex of the chick).
Molting in birds starts in the autumn, then the yellow feathers are replaced by dark feathers. Bright spots are only on his belly and throat. This time of year it is almost impossible to distinguish female from male. Spring brown plumage wears out, and will again appear yellow and bright feathers.
Quiet and melodious sound produced by the male. Singing consists of a monotonous 5 or 8 syllables. Usually on the last syllable increases or decreases the tone, followed by non-durable continuation in the form of extended passages.
The male prefers to sing early in the morning from the tops of the trees. An hour manages to sing up to 300 different tunes. The singing activity begins in April and ends in mid-July. More vigorous males begin to be filled from late winter until the end of August.
The spread of ordinary oatmeal
Bunting – early birds, they are the first to return from warm countries. The first arriving males, who are not afraid of frost. Give debut concerts when it is not the snow melted. So, they all show that the territory is already occupied and soon to arrive females.
Common birds in vast areas of Europe, Iran and Western Siberia. Prefers to nest in the South of the Iberian Peninsula, along the coast of France and the shores of the Balkan Peninsula, in the South of Italy. In the North can fly to the Scandinavian countries and the Kola Peninsula in Russia to the valleys of the rivers Yenisei and Ob.
A long border of nesting passes through southern Moldova, Ukraine and around the Northern part of the Gulf of Taganrog, then runs to the lower reaches of the river Ilovlya. A separate nesting area is in the Caucasus and Transcaucasia, which stretches to the Iranian mountains.
Ordinary oatmeal was deliberately moved from England (1862) in New Zealand. Due to the abundance of feed in the winter time and small number of predators, here, the oatmeal began to multiply. If the number of individuals in Europe over the past few years have declined in New Zealand, on the contrary, the population has increased. At last count, the scientists, the density of nesting birds on the Islands 3 times more than in England.
In the Eastern territories of nesting, the bird sometimes crosses over with pine Bunting, thereby forming a hybrid population.
The territory of inhabitation of the birds have different forest and forest-steppe, which is mostly prevalent in dry areas with sparse tree vegetation. In the woods it prefers to settle on forest edges, clearings with young vegetation, and along railway lines, under power lines, in flood plains of rivers and lakes, on the outskirts of different wetlands and fields. Often oatmeal settles in forest plantings.
People are not afraid of, and avoids, if conditions are favorable for life, then settles in the city. During the nesting stops at a quiet and inaccessible places, such as ravines, embankments, ditches. Winter oats can be found on the outskirts of populated areas, in mown fields and orchards. During the use of horse traction, winter oats were fed in yards and around stables.
Bird is able to climb the mountain to the subalpine zone. There she prefers to be among the bushes.
Feeding habits and reproduction
Only when the snow begins to descend and at night there are light frosts, males Buntings return from wintering. In early spring the trill of these birds is heard one of the first.
Mating season from yellowhammers starts in April and by the end of the month pairing. Loud and bright males courting females, bursting with this melodious trills. After the female has chosen a mate, starts searching the place for the future nest.
To build a nest Buntings begin in mid-may, when the air and the ground is well warmed. Because birds nest under bushes, in tall grass and even on the ground, on the edge of ravines.
During the nesting season oatmeal maximally hides his family from supernatural eyes. The nest resembles a small bowl. Laid a nest of grass stalks, dry grass, wool or hair of ungulates.
In one season oatmeal twice lays eggs in a clutch is five eggs. Eggs of small size, purple, gray with pink hue. The whole shell is framed by a dark and thin veins that create an interesting pattern of speckles and swirls.
12-14 days to see the first Chicks. The Chicks are covered with dense red fluff. During this period, the male searches for food for his family. Children are fed mostly small insects. When the offspring grows up and becomes independent, then a diet filled up by young seed plants. After 14 days, the Chicks make their first attempts at flight.
Before the first offspring will be on their own to search for food, the female is looking for a place for the new nest. And begins to build.
In August two generations Buntings gather in a flock and fly away in search of new areas. Which are rich in insects and crops. Such populations often fly far from the place of permanent residence.
Under good conditions, oats can live up to 4 years. However, scientists recorded cases, when the bird lived for over 13 years.
Mostly ordinary oatmeal eats plant food. Almost the whole year (summer and late winter), she seeks out grass grains of different plants. When the Chicks appear, it takes much more feed. In such conditions, birds eat insects, which constitute the main diet of babies.
After nesting birds choose places rich in millet, buckwheat and fly here to feed. At the beginning of autumn flocks fly to southern regions, thus, escape the cold and frost.
Buntings, and sparrows in winter are kept closer to human housing. Find food in the manure undigested grain ungulates.
The content of yellowhammers at home
The best time to catch birds in the spring. At this time, the Buntings begin to sing melodically, so it’s easy to choose the most vociferous singer for their home. To catch the bird on decoy female or food.
Maintenance and care
The first few days after capture, the bird kept in a cage, which is covered by a thick cloth. During this period her practicing, so sharp change of residence can hurt. If you do not comply with this condition, ordinary oatmeal shut up and sing until next spring. Cage should be spacious, otherwise the singing bird will be quiet or cease altogether.
You can keep a few birds, but each species should have its own separate cage. Length of the dwelling not less than 60, see the bottom of the cage was covered washed or sifted sand. After some time the sand is replaced by a conventional paper litter.
The lighting in the house is oatmeal supposed to be good. So during the day it is recommended to put the cage in a Sunny place. The lack of bright light leads to fading of the feathers, the color of the birds becomes pale, greyish.
Oatmeal need open access to clean water and daily bathing. So in the cage there should be a drinking bowl and a wide, small bowl of clean water.
The best treat for the Buntings are rice, millet, rapeseed, oat groats, the seeds of weeds. From the seeds, which contain fat (sunflower), should be abandoned. Birds love meal worms, they too are included in the diet.
During molting, the bird the necessary proteins of animal origin. Typically, these fats are part of the ready feed mixtures for birds.
The oatmeal diet also should include:
- fresh herbs;
- the grain is sprouted;
- feed mineral.
Beautiful and bright Bunting to bring huge benefits to agriculture. It destroys the main pests and seeds of weeds. And the bird that lives in the home with proper care and maintenance in early spring will delight with his wonderful singing.