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[awr-tl-uh n] /ˈɔr tl ən/
an Old World bunting, Emberiza hortulana, esteemed as a table delicacy.
the bobolink.
1520-30; < French < Provençal: literally, gardener (i.e., frequenting gardens) < Latin hortulānus, equivalent to hortul(us) little garden (hort(us) garden + -ulus -ule) + -ānus -an Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for ortolan


Also called ortolan bunting. a brownish Old World bunting, Emberiza hortulana, regarded as a delicacy
any of various other small birds eaten as delicacies, esp the bobolink
Word Origin
C17: via French from Latin hortulānus, from hortulus, diminutive of hortus garden
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Encyclopedia Article for ortolan

ortolan bunting

(Emberiza hortulana), Eurasian garden and field bird of the subfamily Emberizinae, family Fringillidae. It grows fat in autumn, when large flocks gather for migration to northern Africa and the Middle East, and at that season it is a table delicacy. The bird is 16 centimetres (6 12 inches) long, with streaked brown back, grayish head and breast, pale yellow throat, and pinkish belly. Its song resembles that of the related yellowhammer (E. citrinella) but is slower, more varied, and usually of six or seven clear notes followed by an occasional flourish. The nest is built on or near the ground and may contain four or five glossy greenish-white eggs, variously marked with purple and brown.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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