Ortolan Bunting Emberiza hortulana
Distribution and song dialects
Picture of Ortolan Bunting

The Ortolan Bunting breeds in Europe and Asia from Lake Baikal to Spain. In Asia, it occurs mainly between 48° and 55° North, whereas in Europe it extends beyond the Arctic Circle. In Germany its centre of distribution is in the northeast, although there are some small breeding areas in northern Bavaria, North Rhine-Westphalia and Lower Saxony. The distribution map is based on maps and informations in "The EBCC Atlas of European Breeding Birds", "Handbuch der Vögel Mitteleuropas" and "Die Vögel Baden-Württembergs" (references 1, 12. Some additional knowledge was considered from references 2-7. In Germany it stays from April to September, the wintering region lays in sub-Saharan Africa.
The Ortolan Bunting has many song dialects 8, 11. In a dialect region there is only little variation in song. Conrads 9 made up a dialect atlas by comparing different populations of Ortolan Bunting in Central Europe. In this area 12 dialect classes were found . The songs  have a total length of one to two seconds and consist of two to three (seldom four) different parts. The beginning (part A) is a row of two to six syllables. Each syllable shows more or less strong changes in frequency and duration of there sound elements. Three-part songs have a part M, which normally is of constant frequency. In combination with M the ending (E) is determinant in classifying the regional allocation. It is often a tremolo-like and soft sound. By way of explanation the purple-coloured terms are drawn in the sonagram of the typical song in northern Bavaria with a A-M-E structure.
Songs (.wav format), some are also available by clicking the map at the red spots 
Northern Bavaria, Germany
typical song, "Süddeutscher"-dialect
1 Sonogram
Northern Bavaria, Germany
rarely heard variation, recorded from the same individual above
Brandenburg, Germany
2 Sonogram
Brandenburg, Germany
Different individuals recorded at the same place; both records by Stefan Wehr
Sachsen, Germany
Record by Eckehard Frauendorf
4 Sonogram
Mecklenburg, Germany
Record by Eckehard Frauendorf
5 Sonogram
Niedersachsen, Germany
Record by Jörg Grützmann;
6 Sonogram
Niedersachsen, Germany
Record by Jörg Grützmann

All sonagrams

Distribution map of Ortolan Bunting

If you have a song record or a suggestion to the distribution area please mailto:rainerjahn@gmx.de


1 Glutz von Blotzheim ,U. & Bauer, K.: Handbuch der Vögel Mitteleuropas, Band 14, 1997
2 Rheinwald, G.: Atlas der Verbreitung und Häufigkeit der Brutvögel Deutschlands, 1993
3 Stolt, B.O. (1994), Population development of the Ortolan Bunting Emberiza hortulana in Sweden. In: Steiner, H. M.   (Ed.), I. Ortolan-Symp. Wien, 1992
4 Väisänen, R. A.: Population size of the Ortolan Bunting Emberiza hortulana in Finland. In: Steiner, H. M. (Ed.), I. Ortolan-Symp. Wien, 1992
5 Idzelis, R.: The Ortolan Bunting in Lithunia. In: Steiner, H. M. (Ed.), I. Ortolan-Symp. Wien, 1992
6 Geister, I.: Ortolan Bunting (Emberiza hortulana) in Slovenia. In: Steiner, H. M. (Ed.), I. Ortolan-Symp. Wien, 1992
7 Claessens, O.: The Situation of the Ortolan Bunting in France: Present Status, Trend and possible Causes of Decrease. In: Steiner, H. M. (Ed.), I. Ortolan-Symp. Wien, 1992
8 Conrads, K. & Conrads, W.: Regionaldialekte des Ortolans (Emberiza hortulana) in Deutschland. Vogelwelt 92, 1971
9 Conrads, K.: Dialektklassen des Ortolans, Emberiza hortulana, im mittleren Europa - eine Übersicht. In: Steiner, H. M. (Ed.), I. Ortolan-Symp. Wien, 1992
10 Hölzinger, J. & H.-W. Helb (1997): Emberiza hortulana, linnaeus, 1758, Ortolan.- In: Hölzinger, J. (Ed.), Die Vögel Baden-Württembergs, Band 3.2: Singvögel 2,793-809. Ulmer verlag Stuttgart 1997.
11 Helb, H.-W. (1997): Gesangsdialekte des Ortolans, Emberiza hortulana, in Südeuropa. - In: Bülow, B. von (Ed.), II. Ortolan-Symp. Westfalen 1996: 23-49
12 E J M Hagemeijer and M J Blair (Editors). 1997. The EBCC Atlas of European Breeding Birds: Their Distribution and Abundance. T & A D Poyser, London.


Homepage of S. Wehr Bird songs of Starling, Warblers,Yellowhammer and more

Goldammerdialekte, E. Frauendorf 

Bird songs from Italy, M. Dragonetti with Ortolan Bunting songs

last changes at 23.03.2007; Copyright Rainer Jahn

URL of this site: http://www.bavarianbirds.de/ortolan/ortolan.htm