The Cirl Bunting, Emberiza cirlus, is a passerine bird in the bunting family Emberizidae, a group now separated by most modern authors from the finches, Fringillidae.
It breeds across southern Europe, on the Mediterranean islands and in north Africa. It is a resident of these warmer areas, and does not migrate in winter. It is common in all sorts of open areas with some scrub or trees, but has a preference for sunny slopes. Changes in agricultural practice have affected this species very adversely at the northern fringes of its range, and in England, where it once occurred over much of the south of the country, it is now restricted to south Devon. The Cirl Bunting is the mascot on the signs for the village of Stokeinteignhead.
The Cirl Bunting is like a small Yellowhammer, 15-16.5 cm in length with a thick seed-eater's bill. The male has a bright yellow head, with a black eyestripe and throat, and a greenish breast band across its otherwise yellow underparts, and a heavily streaked brown back. The female is much more like the Yellowhammer, but has a streaked grey-brown rump and chestnut shoulders.
The monotonous song of the cock is rattling trill, like Arctic Warbler or Lesser Whitethroat.
Its natural food consists of insects when feeding young, and otherwise seeds. The nest is on the ground. 2-5 eggs are laid, which show the hair-like markings characteristic of those of buntings.