© Copyright: Images: Jari Peltomäki. Recording: Jan-Erik Bruun. All rights reserved.
- Family: Buntings – Emberizidae
- Appearance: A smallish bunting. Males have black and white markings on their heads in summer plumage. Belly white, rump reddish brown with no streaks, reddish brown streaking visible on flanks and breast.
- Size: Length 13–14.5 cm, weight 16.5–23 g.
- Nest: Beside a hummock or tree stump, made of grass, lined with hairs.
- Breeding: 4–6 eggs laid in May, incubated mainly by female for 12 days. Fledglings remain in nest for 7–12 days.
- Distribution: Nests in marshy forests throughout Finland, but more common in northern regions. Finnish breeding population estimated at over 200,000 pairs. Has declined recently, particularly in southern regions.
- Migration: By day or night. Leaves Finland August–October, returning April–May. Winters in SE Asia.
- Diet: Invertebrates, seeds, parts of plants.
- Calls: A sharp “tsik”; song short, clear and ringing, similar to song of Dunnock.
- Endangerment: Near threatened, protected in Finland. European red list status Vulnerable, globally Least concern.
Male Rustic Buntings have striking plumage. Their heads are mainly black with a white cheek patch, throat and eyebrow stripe. A reddish brown belt runs across their breasts, and their upper backs and rump are also reddish brown. Their bellies are white. Females and juvenile birds are less brightly coloured, with brownish and whitish markings on their heads. Rustic Buntings have pinkish legs, dark brown irises, and brown beaks with a pinkish base to the lower mandible.