Little Bunting
Emberiza pusilla

At a Glance

Widespread across northern Scandinavia and Siberia in summer, the Little Bunting winters mostly in southern Asia. It shows up as a very rare stray in Alaska, mostly in fall, and has made it all the way to California twice.
Perching Birds
Low Concern
Shrublands, Savannas, and Thickets, Tundra and Boreal Habitats
Flitter, Rapid Wingbeats, Undulating

Range & Identification


5" (13 cm). This very rare visitor is a small, short-tailed bunting, heavily streaked above and below. Somewhat like a Savannah Sparrow but with a dark bill, pale eye-ring, wash of reddish brown on face.
About the size of a Sparrow
Wing Shape
Broad, Long, Pointed
Tail Shape
Notched, Square-tipped

Songs and Calls

Song a rollicking but short, gold-finch-like warble of modulated trills and high, sweet notes. Call a very quick tsit or tsik.
Call Pattern
Rising, Undulating
Call Type
Chirp/Chip, Flute, Trill, Whistle