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Ortolan Bunting Emberiza hortulana
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
Please email us with any relevant information

IUCN Red List history

Year Category
2012 Least Concern
2009 Least Concern
2008 Least Concern
2004 Least Concern
2000 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1994 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1988 Lower Risk/Least Concern

Species attributes

Migratory status full migrant Forest dependency Low
Land mass type   Average mass 19.9 g


  Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 627,000
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 627,000
Number of locations -
Fragmentation -

Population & trend

  Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals poor Estimated 2009
Population trend Decreasing -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 3.6 - - -
Population justification: In Europe, the breeding population is estimated to number 5,200,000-16,000,000 breeding pairs, equating to 15,600,000-48,000,000 individuals (BirdLife International 2004). Europe forms 50-74% of the global range, so a very preliminary estimate of the global population size is 21,100,000-96,000,000 individuals, although further validation of this estimate is needed.
Trend justification: The population is suspected to be in decline owing to ongoing habitat destruction.

Country/Territory distribution

Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Breeding Non-breeding Passage Resident
Afghanistan Vagrant Extant        
Albania Native Extant Yes      
Algeria Native Extant        
Andorra Native Extant Yes      
Armenia Native Extant Yes      
Austria Native Extant Yes      
Azerbaijan Native Extant Yes      
Bahrain Native Extant     Yes  
Belarus Native Extant Yes      
Belgium Native Extant Yes      
Bosnia and Herzegovina Native Extant Yes      
Bulgaria Native Extant Yes      
Cameroon Vagrant Extant        
Chad Native Extant        
China (mainland) Native Extant        
Côte d'Ivoire Native Extant        
Croatia Native Extant Yes      
Cyprus Native Extant     Yes  
Czech Republic Native Extant Yes      
Denmark Native Extant     Yes  
Djibouti Native Extant        
Egypt Native Extant        
Eritrea Native Extant        
Estonia Native Extant Yes      
Ethiopia Native Extant        
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) Vagrant Extant        
Finland Native Extant Yes   Yes  
France Native Extant Yes   Yes  
Georgia Native Extant Yes      
Germany Native Extant Yes   Yes  
Gibraltar (to UK) Native Extant        
Greece Native Extant Yes   Yes  
Guinea Native Extant        
Hungary Native Extant Yes      
Iceland Vagrant Extant        
Iran, Islamic Republic of Native Extant Yes   Yes  
Iraq Native Extant     Yes  
Ireland Native Extant        
Israel Native Extant        
Italy Native Extant Yes   Yes  
Japan Vagrant Extant        
Jordan Native Extant     Yes  
Kazakhstan Native Extant Yes      
Kenya Vagrant Extant        
Kuwait Native Extant     Yes  
Latvia Native Extant Yes      
Lebanon Native Extant Yes   Yes  
Libya Native Extant        
Liechtenstein Native Extant        
Lithuania Native Extant Yes      
Luxembourg Vagrant Extant        
Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Native Extant Yes      
Mali Native Extant        
Malta Native Extant        
Mauritania Native Extant        
Moldova Native Extant Yes      
Mongolia Native Extant Yes      
Montenegro Native Extant Yes      
Morocco Native Extant        
Netherlands Native Extant Yes      
Nigeria Native Extant        
Norway Native Extant Yes      
Oman Native Extant     Yes  
Palestinian Authority Territories Native Extant     Yes  
Poland Native Extant Yes      
Portugal Native Extant Yes      
Qatar Native Extant     Yes  
Romania Native Extant Yes      
Russia (Asian) Native Extant Yes      
Russia (Central Asian) Native Extant Yes      
Russia (European) Native Extant Yes      
Saudi Arabia Native Extant     Yes  
Senegal Native Extant        
Serbia Native Extant Yes      
Seychelles Vagrant Extant        
Sierra Leone Native Extant        
Slovakia Native Extant Yes      
Slovenia Native Extant Yes      
Somalia Native Extant        
South Korea Vagrant Extant        
Spain Native Extant Yes      
Sudan Native Extant   Yes    
Sweden Native Extant Yes      
Switzerland Native Extant Yes      
Syria Native Extant Yes   Yes  
Tajikistan Vagrant Extant        
Tunisia Native Extant        
Turkey Native Extant Yes      
Turkmenistan Native Extant     Yes  
Uganda Native Extant        
Ukraine Native Extant Yes      
United Arab Emirates Native Extant     Yes  
United Kingdom Native Extant     Yes  
Uzbekistan Native Extant        
Western Sahara Native Extant        
Yemen Native Extant   Yes Yes  

Important Bird Areas where this species has triggered the IBA criteria

Country/Territory IBA Name IBA link
Austria Inn valley between Stams and Haiming site factsheet
Bulgaria Devetashko Plateau site factsheet
Bulgaria Kamchiyska Mountain site factsheet
Bulgaria Ludogorie site factsheet
Bulgaria Mesta Valley site factsheet
Bulgaria Provadiysko-Royaksko plateau site factsheet
Bulgaria Sredna Gora site factsheet
Bulgaria Strandzha site factsheet
Bulgaria Studenets site factsheet
Bulgaria Western Balkan site factsheet
Bulgaria Zlatiata site factsheet
Czech Republic Hovoransko-Cejkovicko site factsheet
Estonia Lahemaa site factsheet
Estonia Väinameri site factsheet
France Forêt de Saou site factsheet
France Gorges de la Vis et cirque de Navacelles site factsheet
France Hautes garrigues du Montpellierais site factsheet
France Hautes Vallées d'Aspe et d'Ossau site factsheet
France Les Couzes Nord site factsheet
France Massif du Petit Lubéron site factsheet
France Minervois site factsheet
France Montagne de la Clape site factsheet
France Montagnes de Marcou, de l'Espinouse et du Caroux site factsheet
France Parc National des Ecrins site factsheet
France Plaine des Maures site factsheet
France Plaines de Mirebeau et de Neuville-du-Poitou site factsheet
France Vallée de la Loire : gorges de la Loire site factsheet
Greece Filiouri river valley and east Rodopi mountains site factsheet
Greece Kompsatos valley site factsheet
Greece Mount Iti site factsheet
Greece Mounts Kato Olympos and Ossa, and Tembi ravine site factsheet
Italy Carso site factsheet
Italy Gran Sasso and Laga mountains site factsheet
Italy Magredi of Pordenone site factsheet
Italy Maritime Alps site factsheet
Italy Middle valley of Tagliamento river site factsheet
Italy Mount Conero site factsheet
Italy River Po from Dora Baltea mouth to Scrivia mouth site factsheet
Italy Valli di Comacchio and Bonifica del Mezzano site factsheet
Lithuania Nemunas delta regional Park site factsheet
Portugal Estrela Mountains site factsheet
Portugal Gerês mountains site factsheet
Portugal Montesinho and Nogueira mountains site factsheet
Romania Allah Bair - Capidava site factsheet
Romania Almăjului Mountains - Locvei site factsheet
Romania Dobrogei gorge site factsheet
Romania Dorohoi - Şaua Bucecei site factsheet
Romania Dumbrăveni - Plopeni site factsheet
Romania Dunăre - Canarale - Hârşova site factsheet
Romania Dunărea Veche (Braţul Măcin) site factsheet
Romania Măcin - Niculiţel site factsheet
Romania Nerei gorge - Beuşniţa site factsheet
Russia (European) Buzulukski forest site factsheet
Russia (European) Flood-plain of Alatyr' river in vicinity of Ardatov site factsheet
Russia (European) Insaro-Kovylkinski site factsheet
Russia (European) Karabash-Kudashskaya forest-steppe site factsheet
Russia (European) Zhigulevski Nature Reserve site factsheet
Slovenia Karst site factsheet

Habitats & altitude

Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Artificial/Terrestrial Plantations suitable breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Plantations suitable non-breeding
Desert Temperate suitable breeding
Desert Temperate suitable non-breeding
Grassland Temperate suitable breeding
Grassland Temperate suitable non-breeding
Shrubland Mediterranean-type Shrubby Vegetation suitable breeding
Shrubland Mediterranean-type Shrubby Vegetation suitable non-breeding
Shrubland Temperate marginal resident
Altitude 0 - 2400 m Occasional altitudinal limits  


Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Food (human) Whole Adults and juveniles Wild Subsistence, National Non-trivial Recent
Pets Whole Adults and juveniles Wild International Non-trivial Recent
Sport Whole Adults and juveniles Wild Subsistence, National Non-trivial Recent

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Emberiza hortulana. Downloaded from on 22/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 22/10/2016.

This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife

To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Least Concern
Family Emberizidae (Buntings, American sparrows and allies)
Species name author Linnaeus, 1758
Population size mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 627,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Summary information on this species
- 2015 European Red List assessment