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BTO Blueline
CORN BUNTING
Emberiza calandra
Corn Bunting © Nicholas Watts
Conservation listings

Europe: SPEC category 4, (secure)
UK:
Red (>50% population decline, historical decline)

Long-term trend
UK, England: rapid decline
Status summary
Following an earlier, historical decrease, Corn Buntings declined very steeply between the mid 1970s and mid 1980s, withdrawing then from large areas of their former range. Subsequently the decline has continued at a much-reduced rate. Corn Bunting breeding performance has increased considerably over this period (Crick 1997), and the demographic mechanism behind the decline is probably that survival rates have fallen. However, ring-recovery sample sizes do not permit this hypothesis to be tested (Siriwardena et al. 1998b, 2000b). Any decrease in survival rates is probably a result of the deleterious effects of agricultural intensification on seed availability in winter (Donald 1997).
CBC/BBS UK graph
Table of population changes for Corn Bunting
Source Period
(yrs)
Years Plots
(n)
Change
(%)
Lower
limit
Upper
limit
Alert Comment
CBC/BBS UK 33 1967-2000 53 -86 -94 -78 >50  
  25 1975-2000 59 -89 -95 -84 >50  
  10 1990-2000 107 -47 -63 -23 >25  
  5 1995-2000 160 -30 -38 -20 >25  
CBC/BBS England 33 1967-2000 51 -85 -93 -75 >50  
  25 1975-2000 57 -90 -94 -84 >50  
  10 1990-2000 102 -48 -67 -24 >25  
  5 1995-2000 153 -31 -40 -16 >25  
BBS UK 8 1994-2002 142 -41 -50 -29 (>25)  
BBS England 8 1994-2002 135 -35 -46 -23 (>25)  
BBS acknowledgement
CBC/BBS England graph
BBS UK graph
BBS England graph
Table of productivity information for Corn Bunting
Variable Period
(yrs)
Years Mean
annual
sample
Trend Predicted
in first year
Predicted
in last year
Change Comment
Brood size 33 1968-2001 12 Curvilinear 3.09 chicks 3.5 chicks 0.41 chicks Small sample
Daily failure rate (eggs) 33 1968-2001 12 None       Small sample
Daily failure rate (chicks) 33 1968-2001 11 Linear decline 0.0361 nests/day 0.0101 nests/day -0.026 nests/day Small sample
Laying date 33 1968-2001 15 Linear decline day 180 day 165 -15 days Small sample
Insufficient data on clutch size
available for this species
Brood size graph
Egg nest failure graph
Chick nest failure graph
Laying date graph

Insufficient data on CES
available for this species

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This report should be cited as:
Crick, H.Q.P., Marchant, J.H., Noble, D.G., Baillie, S.R., Balmer, D.E., Beaven, L.P., Coombes, R.H.,
Downie, I.S., Freeman, S.N., Joys, A.C., Leech, D.I., Raven, M.J., Robinson, R.A. and Thewlis, R.M. (2004)
Breeding Birds in the Wider Countryside: their conservation status 2003.
BTO Research Report No. 353. BTO, Thetford. (http://www.bto.org/birdtrends2003)

Pages maintained by Susan Waghorn and Iain Downie: Last updated 16 February, 2009