Posted By Zoey T. Posted On

Subtle Shades Of Brown Are Further Enhanced When He Pops Off With His Golden-Orange Tail – Meet The Chestnut-Breasted Mannikin!

A thick-set bird covered in subtle shades of brown and grey surprises all by popping off with his golden-orange undertail.


Photo Courtesy of JJ Harrison ( / CC BY-SA 4.0

The chestnut-breasted mannikin (Lonchura castaneothorax), also known as the chestnut-breasted munia or bully bird. A small brown-backed bird with a black face, heavy bill, and greyish crown and nape. The crown is grey, the breast is chestnut, divided from white underparts by a black bar. The rump and tail are a shade of golden orange, with a black undertail.

Photo (cropped) Courtesy of Dan Armbrust / CC BY 2.0

Females are pale when compared to the male, while males are uniformly olive-brown above, pale below with a brown-buff and no black face or chest bar.

This species is found in and is endemic to Australia, New Caledonia, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea.

Photo Courtesy of Graham Winterflood / CC BY-SA 2.0

Though, it has been introduced to Fench Polynesia and France.

Photo (cropped) Courtesy of Paul Balfe / CC BY 2.0

The Chestnut-breasted mannikin is a bird who likes to frequent reed beds and rank grasses bordering rivers, swamps, grassy country, and mangroves. It also likes cane fields and cereal crops. In dry seasons, it is seen in arid country, but always near water.

Photo Courtesy of Steve Dew / CC BY 2.0

A seed lover these birds like barley seed, and millet, and have been seen dining on wild sugar cane in Papua New Guinea.

Photo Courtesy of Jim Bendon / CC BY-SA 2.0

During the breeding season, these birds nest in colonies, fairly close to each in grass clumps, about 2 m from the ground. A round nest is made from green, and or dried grass blades, lined with finer grass. The nest is built by both the male and female, who both go on to incubate the eggs and feed the young.

Photo Courtesy of Mike’s Birds / CC BY-SA 2.0

Due to this bird’s large range, this species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the IUCN size criterion.

Photo Courtesy of Tony Hisgett / CC BY 2.0