Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Scaly-breasted Munia

The Scaly-breasted Munia is a common bird found throughout Sri Lanka, ascending to the highlands where it may be seen in the same habitat as the endemic Black throated Munia. More info after the jump.

The Scaly-breasted Munia, also known as the Nutmeg Manikin or the Spice Finch, is a resident breeder in tropical southern Asia from India and Sri Lanka east to Indonesia and the Philippines. It has also been introduced to Puerto Rico where they are already widespread in lowland agricultural areas. It feeds on seeds and can been seen foraging on grasslands and crops and is therefore considered a pest.

A typical clutch consists of 4 - 10 eggs which are laid in an untidy and dome shaped nest. It will move into gardens to occupy suitable nesting habitats. They move around in restless flocks, seldom staying in one place for long. The sexes are similar, juveniles have light brown upper parts  and have uniform buff under parts.

I found a small flock of these birds near the Thalangama tank one morning. They were moving about in the undergrowth feeding on seeds in the grass when I came across them. They move around a lot and it took a bit of patience to capture the image above. The bird in the image perched on a stick and paused for a little while to look around before disappearing into the undergrowth. Fortunately there was enough time for me to lock focus and capture the image.
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