Monday, March 20, 2017

Bronze Mannikin - Communal roosting nest

Birds of Uganda

Bronze Mannikin (Lonchura cucullata) - call   Rory Nefdt

The bronze mannikin or bronze munia (Lonchura cucullata) is a small passerine (i.e. perching) bird of the Afrotropics. This very social estrildid finch is an uncommon to locally abundant bird in much of Africa south of the Sahara Desert, where it is resident, nomadic or irruptive in mesic savanna or forest margin habitats. It has an estimated global extent of occurrence of 8,100,000 km². It is the smallest and most widespread of four munia species on the African mainland, the other being black-and-white, red-backed and magpie mannikin. It co-occurs with the Madagascan mannikin on the Comoro Islands, and was introduced to Puerto Rico. Especially in the West Africa, it is considered a pest in grain and rice fields.


The song is a concatenated and somewhat repetitive series of notes. Before going to roost at nightfall, they usually visit a watering hole where vegetation is hanging into the water. They roost at night in ball-shaped nests, which in the non-breeding season are built solely for this purpose. These slovenly communal roosting nests are dismantled (for reuse of material) and rebuilt almost daily at the same or a new location, in a communal effort. Each party, numbering 8 to 20 birds, seems to be dominated by a single adult male. The flock defends the immediate vicinity of a nest against intruders, but newcomers to a flock are easily accepted. They may associate with waxbill or other mannikin species, and may also use their vacated nests. Pairs often allopreen.

Communal roosting nest

The flock having a drink

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