Little Bunting

Emberiza pusilla (Pallas, 1776) LJ LITBU 18740
Family: Passeriformes > Emberizidae

Little Bunting, Moss Taylor

Resembling a Linnet-sized female Reed Bunting, this is a scarce visitor from Russia. Most records come from the autumn, although increasing numbers are being found in winter finch and bunting flocks.

Select a topic for more facts and statistics about the Little Bunting


Little Bunting identification is sometimes difficult. The following article may help when identifying Little Bunting.

related video

Identifying winter buntings

Reed Bunting. Photograph by Liz Cutting

If you find brown, streaky buntings hard to identify, this workshop is for you. Using video footage, still photographs and sound recordings we highlight the differences between four species of bunting that can be found in coastal areas in winter: Reed, Little, Snow and Lapland Buntings.


Listen to example recordings of the main vocalisations of Little Bunting, provided by xeno-canto contributors.


Develop your bird ID skills with our training courses

Our interactive online courses are a great way to develop your bird identification skills, whether you're new to the hobby or a competent birder looking to hone your abilities.

Browse training courses

Status and Trends

Population size and trends and patterns of distribution based on BTO surveys and atlases with data collected by BTO volunteers.


This species can be found on the following statutory and conservation listings and schedules.



This species is a rare vagrant and was recorded during Bird Atlas 2007–11 as shown on the map.

Occupied 10-km squares in UK

European Distribution Map

European Breeding Bird Atlas 2


This vagrant is too rarely reported to map distribution change.


Little Bunting is a scarce vagrant most often encountered during autumn migration, although some birds remain to winter and can be seen on spring migration.

Weekly occurence of Little Bunting from BirdTrack
Weekly occurrence patterns (shaded cells) and reporting rates (vertical bars) based on BirdTrack data. Reporting rates give the likelihood of encountering the species each week.


Information about movement and migration based on online bird portals (e.g. BirdTrack), Ringing schemes and tracking studies.


View a summary of recoveries in the Online Ringing Report.

Foreign locations of birds ringed or recovered in Britain & Ireland

Foreign locations of Little Bunting ringed or recovered in Britain & Ireland
Encountered in: Winter (Nov-Feb); Spring (Mar-Apr); Summer (May-Jul); Autumn (Aug-Oct)


Lifecycle and body size information about Little Bunting, including statistics on nesting, eggs and lifespan based on BTO ringing and nest recording data.



For information in another language (where available) click on a linked name

Welsh: Bras Bychan
Catalan: repicatalons petit
Czech: strnad malinký
Danish: Dværgværling
Dutch: Dwerggors
Estonian: väiketsiitsitaja
Finnish: pikkusirkku
French: Bruant nain
German: Zwergammer
Hungarian: törpesármány
Icelandic: Dvergtittlingur
Irish: Gealóg Bheag
Italian: Zigolo minore
Latvian: maza sterste
Lithuanian: mažoji starta
Norwegian: Dvergspurv
Polish: trznadelek
Portuguese: escrevedeira-pequena
Slovak: strnádka malá
Slovenian: mali strnad
Spanish: Escribano pigmeo
Swedish: dvärgsparv

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