Scaly-breasted munia

Scaly-breasted munia
Lonchura punctulata
Photo by John Avise (Natural History of Orange County)

Common name:
scaly-brested munia (en); bico-de-chumbo-malhado (pt); capucin damier (fr)capuchino punteado (es); muskatamadine (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Estrildidae

This species originates from southern Asia, from India to southern China, Malaysia and Indonesia. They have been introduced to several countries around the world, including Australia, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Japan, Portugal and the Seychelles.

These birds are 10-12 cm long and weigh 14 g.

Scaly-breasted munias are mostly found in open habitats, namely moist scrublands, bot dry and wet grasslands, open forests, rice fields, irrigated crops, arable land, rural gardens and urban areas.

They mostly eat grass seeds, especially rice, but also small berries, human scraps and even road kill.

These bird can breed all year rounds, varying between different parts of their range. The nest is an untidy globe made of grass and bamboo leaves, with a side entrance. It is lined with soft seeds or feathers and placed inside bushes. The female lays 4-7 white eggs, which are incubated by both parents for 14-18 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 18-19 days after hatching.

IUCN status – LC (Least concern)
The scaly-breasted munia has a very large breeding range and is described as abundant to locally common. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

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