Cinnamon-breasted Bunting

Emberiza tahapisi

Cinnamon-breasted Buntings, or to call them by a previous colloquial name Rock Buntings, inhabit stony and rocky slopes and hillsides, rocky outcrops, dry rocky streambeds, bare stony patches and even abandoned quarries and borrow-pits in woodland, savanna and grassland, and are regularly seen foraging on road verges. They are mainly seed-eaters but include a fair number of insects in their diet, and require regular access to drinking water.

Usually encountered singly, in pairs or small groups of three or four, it is highly unusual to find larger congregations of Cinnamon-breasted Buntings. They breed during spring and summer, forming monogamous pairs that build cup-shaped nests at the base of grass tufts or next to a rock. Clutches of 2-4 eggs are incubated by both parents over a 2 week period. Both parents feed the chicks at the nest until they fledge about two weeks after hatching, and the chicks remain with their parents for another month or so thereafter before moving off. Fully grown, Cinnamon-breasted Buntings weigh about 15g and measure 15cm in length.

The Cinnamon-breasted Bunting has a wide distribution throughout sub-Saharan Africa, with the exception of deserts and the equatorial forest. In South Africa they’re found over most of the eastern half of the country. The IUCN considers the species to be of least concern.


17 thoughts on “Cinnamon-breasted Bunting

    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      Thank you very much, Anne. We really did have our best sightings of them during our December visits to the national parks in the Cape, and then an excellent and surprising encounter at Cape Vidal!


  1. H.J. for avian101

    Pretty little bird! Thank you for the information about this bird, it’s the first time I see the Cinnamon-breasted Bunting. Great post, D. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person


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