Eastern Cinereous Bunting
Eastern Cinereous Bunting (Male breeding plumage)
Scientific Name 
Emberiza cineracea semenowi
Arabic Name 
بلبل الشعير السوري الشرقي
Kuwaiti name 
زرزور جبل
17.0 cm
Near Threatened
Kuwait Specialty


Scarce passage migrant. A little-known species maintaining small populations with a restricted Western Asian global distribution. This Middle Eastern specialty is frequently seen in Kuwait in both spring and autumn.
Where in Kuwait 
it is infrequently observed at water holes and ponds in desert oases and often in coastal areas, but there is nowhere where it is certain.
In the world 
This poorly known migratory species is classified as Near Threatened because its moderately small population is suspected to be declining as a result of the conversion and degradation of its habitats. Two subspecies of cinereous bunting are recognised, which differ mainly in the colour of the underparts, with Emberiza cineracea cineracea having a more white or grey belly, and Emberiza cineracea semenowi a brighter yellow one. It breeds in southern Turkey and southern Iran, and winters around the Red Sea in northeast Africa and Yemen. It is migratory, wintering in dry open country with short grass, semi-desert, low rocky hills, bare cultivated land and dry scrub, often in coastal areas. Migrating birds are regularly recorded in lowland agricultural land and semi-deserts.
Local threats 
Indiscriminate shooting during migration, pesticides and habitat loss.