Wildlife in Italy: Zigolo capinero Emberiza melanocephala Scopoli, 1769

Wildlife in Italy: Zigolo capinero Emberiza melanocephala Scopoli, 1769

Systematic classification and distribution

Class: Birds
Order: Passeriformi
Family: Buntings
Kind: Bunting
Species: IS. melanocephala Scopoli, 1769

Originally from India and the Middle East, it nests from south-eastern Europe (southern Italy, Greece and Turkey) to Iran, while it is a wintering migratory species in India.

Male of Zigolo capinero - Emberiza melanocephala

Capinero bunting female - Emberiza melanocephala

Capinero Zigolo Eggs - Emberiza melanocephala

Distinctive characters

Length: 17 cm
Wingspan: 26-29 cm
Weight: 28 gr

It has a black head, an intense brown rump, black wings and tail, with the rest of the body yellow. The female has less intense colors, with head and rump giving on gray. Towards the summer, the adult male's coat assumes mostly gray colors on the head and a fawn brown color on the shoulders and back. The females and juveniles resemble the male in late summer with even paler tones and blackish-striped head. In males not in wedding dress and in females and young the beak is darker gray and the legs less lively.


It feeds on seeds and invertebrates, looking for them on the ground or on bushes. The specimens build the nest in open areas, at medium height on trees and bushes, sometimes even at ground level. The female lays 4-6 eggs.

Video: Birding at Inobong (January 2022).