Rustic Bunting

Emberiza rustica

Rustic Buntings are casual spring vagrants to the Pribilofs, typically showing up every four years. Most records are from the last ten days in May and first few days in June. Good places to search for this, and other passerines, are sheltered spots, out of the wind. The Crab Pots, Kaminista, the swales near Webster House and the highlands of Tostoi and Zapadnie have all produced recent records. Thus far, this is the only old-world Bunting that has occurred on Saint Paul. Several otherEmberizaBuntings have occurred in the Western Aleutians and thus could conceivably occur in the Pribilofs. Adult male Rustic Buntings are unmistakable, dressed in rich rufous upperparts and their dramatic white and black facial pattern. Females are likewise unlikely to be confused with other possible vagrant Buntings. Look for the female’s brownish-red nape and wing coverts, rusty flanks and heavy pink bill. Rustic Buntings do show white in the outer tail feathers in flight, so do not simply dismiss any flighty white-tailed passerine as a Lapland Longspur.