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cirl bunting Line breaks: cirl bun|ting

Entry from British & World English dictionary

Definition of cirl bunting in English:


An Old World bunting related to the yellowhammer, the male of which has a distinctive facial pattern and a black throat.
  • Emberiza cirlus, family Emberizidae (subfamily Emberizinae)
Example sentences
  • Terns dive-bomb sand eels just beyond the swell, and cirl buntings chirp in the blackthorn hedges along the coastal path, one of my favourite places for watching grey seals hunting pollock in the kelp.
  • While there is no room for complacency, the revival of the cirl bunting has been a real success story.
  • From autumn through to early spring large flocks of cirl buntings may be seen in the hedgerows.


Late 18th century: cirl from Italian cirlo, probably from zirlare 'whistle as a thrush'.

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