Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Meadow Buntings

So I just dug up some old photos in the hard disk again... Looking through the photos I took during my fist year in Japan, I found that I had taken quite a lot of photos of the Meadow Bunting (Emberiza cioides). It's one of the very first birds that I took photos of in Japan, along with the Dusky and Pale Thrush, and the Japanese Wagtail. The bunting, the thrushes and the wagtail often came to the small playground of the university's dorm, where I could take photos of them just from my window pane, since my room was on the first floor. The buntings often came around with their soft tzit tzit calls, like a signal for me to get my camera ready to take their pictures. Even after I moved out from that dorm, I still continue to take photos of them whenever they come around. It's hard not to press the shutter button, when they're so cute and tame like this.

I also found that the bunting was shortly called Meadow Bunting in the Oriental Bird Club Image Database (OBI), not Siberian Meadow Bunting like I usually call it. Maybe that's the new official name for it. I also found that the subspecies in China and Korea looks quite different from the one we get here in Japan. Male bird of the subspecies E.c.ciopsis of Japan has black ear coverts as you can see here, while the male bird of other subspecies in the mainland has chestnut ear coverts. Personally, I think black ear suits the bird more.... Below are some photos of the bird which I took during my first year in Japan!



5 comments:

Ryou said...

It's always exciting to travel to a different country for the first time! Even though some birds may be common there, one just can't help taking as many pictures as possible at every opportunity. Come to think of it, I doubt I even have any nice photographs of the Sparrows at home... Oops. Anyway, nice pictures! They really are cute.

Stu said...

Some nice shots there. This isn't such a common bird in Hokkaido, not rare of course but much less numerous than Black faced/Chestnut Eared Buntings..........

Unravel said...

Thanks a lot Ryou and Stu!
I wonder if you're living in Japan as well, Ryou?
Stu> Wow I thought that it's also common up there.... so common that you don't want to take their photos.

Phil said...

That is a very interesting and informative wrte up about the Meadow Bunting variations to go with your excellent pictures Ayuwat. We had a guy here who claimed to find one but it turned out he'd bought it at a bird farm and hadn't considered the variations you describe or any plumage wear - idiot.

Unravel said...

Hmm that's quite an interesting story, Phil.
It reminds me of the Canadian film 'Rare Birds'.