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24

Chestnut-breasted Mannikin

(Lonchura castaneothorax)
Alternate name(s): "Chestnut-breasted Finch", "Chestnut-breasted Munia", "Chestnut Finch", "Bullfinch*", "Barley-bird*"; misnomer: "Barley Sparrow*"
Size: 11-12 cm
Weight: 14 g (average)

Similar species

Description     Classification     Distribution     Sightings     Photos     Breeding     Nest     Eggs     Behaviour     Food     Call/s

Physical description

Click here for a physical description

Taxonomy, classification

See Chestnut-breasted Mannikin at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range

Sightings

Click here for sighting information

Photos

Race "castaneothorax"

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ADULT

MALE

Frontal view of a Chestnut-breasted Mannikin in tall grass (photo courtesy of L. Scott)
[Roseberry Creek Valley, near Toonumbar NP, northern NSW, October 2016]

Near-frontal view of a Chestnut-breasted Mannikin
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, February 2009]

Two Chestnut-breasted Mannikins (photo courtesy of C. Hayne)
[Moree, NSW, November 2013]

Frontal view of adult Chestnut-breasted Mannikins on a power line (photo courtesy of C. Hayne)

Near-lateral view of a Chestnut-breasted Mannikin (photo courtesy of A. Ross-Taylor)
[Carrara, Gold Coast, QLD, November 2014]

Lateral view of the same Chestnut-breasted Mannikin
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, February 2009]

FEMALE

Lateral view of a different Chestnut-breasted Mannikin, possibly a female (because paler than the bird shown above)
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, March 2012]

Near-dorsal view of a Chestnut-breasted Mannikin (photo courtesy of A. Ross-Taylor)
[Carrara, Gold Coast, QLD, November 2014]

Dorsal view of a Chestnut-breasted Mannikin
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, February 2009]

Dorsal view of the same Chestnut-breasted Mannikin as shown above
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, March 2012]

IMMATURE/JUVENILE

Adult Chestnut-breasted Mannikin (left) with a second bird that is possibly still moulting into adult plumage (photo courtesy of P. Griffin)
[Monaltrie, Lismore, NSW, June 2013]

Frontal view of an immature Chestnut-breasted Mannikin
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, March 2012]

Adult (front left) and immature (back right) Chestnut-breasted Mannikin
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, March 2012]

This immature Chestnut-breasted Mannikin, roosting in the shade in tall grass, looks quite different in colour (photo courtesy of C. Hayne)

Lateral view of a fledgling Chestnut-breasted Mannikin; note the yellow gape (photo courtesy of L. Scott)
[Roseberry Creek Valley, near Toonumbar NP, northern NSW, February 2017]

Breeding information

Breeding season: Sep - Apr Eggs: 4 - 6 Incubation period: 12 - 13 days Fledging age: 21 - 24 days

 

Given the right conditions, Chestnut-breasted Mannikins can breed any time of the year. They tend to nest in colonies.

Nest

"bungobittah", "malunna" = nest [Aboriginal]

Type: Dome basket Material: Dry grass Height above ground <2 m

 

Admittedly, the nest itself is not visible in this photo, but a pair of Chestnut-breasted Mannikins was seen entering this tussock with nesting material, to leave again with empty bills; the tussock is located in reeds in marshland just a few metres off the shoreline of a freshwater lake
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, October 2010]

One of the Chestnut-breasted Mannikins entering the tussock; one can see the characteristic black untertail coverts; the bird was identified by eye without room for doubt
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, October 2010]

Chestnut-breasted Mannikin collecting nesting material
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, March 2013]

Eggs

"boyanga", "booyanga", "derinya", "dirandil", "koomura", "ngampu", "nooluk", "pateena" = Egg; "dirundirri" = eggs [Aboriginal]; "gawu" = eggs [gamilaraay]

Size: 17 x 12 mm Colour: White Shape: Tapered oval

 

Behaviour

Social behaviour: Communal Mobility: Dispersive Elementary unit: Small fLock

 

All species of finches known to us are highly sociable.

Food, Diet

Adults: Seeds Dependents: Regurgitated seeds Water intake: Daily

Like all other finches known to us, Chestnut-breasted Mannikins feed on seeds. These include grass seeds and seeds of reeds.

Frontal view of a Chestnut-breasted Mannikin feeding on seeds of tall grass (photo courtesy of L. Scott)
[Roseberry Creek Valley, near Toonumbar NP, northern NSW, October 2016]

Chestnut-breasted Mannikin feeding on the seeds of reeds
[Urunga, NSW, August 2015]

Part of a flock of Chestnut-breasted Mannikins foraging by the side of a road

These pages are largely based on our own observations and those of our contributors. The structure of these bird pages is explained HERE. For more salient facts on any bird species please refer to a field guide.

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