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Birding Málaga


Common name Rock bunting
Scientific name Emberiza cia
Type Shrubland birds
Status Resident

Bulky small bird (about 16 cm or 6.5 in), with short wings and long tail. It is characterized by having three black lines on its head on a grey background that covers the head, neck, nape and upper breast. The rest of the body is rufous.


Scrubland and rocky environments

Where it lives

This bird preferentially inhabits open mountain areas, pastures, rocky slopes with scattered thickets, both high mountain and at lower altitudes. It also occupies clearings of open forests, cultivated areas and parks and gardens provided there is scattered scrub.

How it lives

Species resident in the province all year round. In winter it usually descends from the high areas. The Rock Bunting starts breeding at the end of April, making two layings of 3 to 6 eggs. Nest on the ground. It feeds on seeds, buds and assorted fruits. In spring and summer it also consumes insects and small invertebrates.

Where it can be seen in Malaga

Very common and frequent bird throughout the Great Path. It can be watched practically in all stages.

Curious facts

The Spanish name for this bird is “escribano montesino” (“mount scribe” in English). Rock buntings receive this name in Spanish because of the characteristic pattern of strokes and colour of their eggs, which resembles the inkblots that the ancient scribes left in their writings.

Wintering Summer Resident Migration