This section is from the book "The Balance Of Nature And Modern Conditions Of Cultivation", by George Abbey. Also available from Amazon: The Balance Of Nature And Modern Conditions Of Cultivation.
The Bunting (Emberiza miliaris) is included in the sub-family Emberizinae of the family Fringillidae or Finches, and its average length is 6 or 7 in. It is coloured dark brown above, each feather being darkest in the centre, the wing coverts being tinted yellow. The chin, throat, breast, and abdomen are greyish-brown mottled with darker brown. The nest is built of grasses, moss, and hair, and is constructed on, or near, the ground, and contains five eggs, greyish-white in colour, tinted with red or purple marks. The common bunting is found in spring and summer in cornfields, hence the name Corn Bunting sometimes given to this bird, that of Lark Bunting being also given to it from its colouration resembling that of the lark. Its food consists chiefly of seeds, especially those belonging to the various grasses; but it inflicts some damage on corn crops. Collecting in large flocks in autumn and winter, and being then fat and in good condition, the common buntings are in great request as delicacies for the table, and are caught in nets or shot.