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Bronze Mannikin

Afrikaans name: Gewone Fret

A Bronze Mannikin keeps a lookout from the top of a bush

Bronze Mannikin

Photo © Steven Herbert

Lonchura cucullata

In some places the Bronze Mannikin is called a Bronze Munia. It is a small finch-like bird weighing around 10 grams. It is about 9 cm in length.

Male and female Bronze Mannikins look alike. Immatures are a more plain buffy brown.

This is a very common species, even in urban areas, and is a familiar sight in gardens over the eastern portion of the country.

Their nests are a grassy structure in a tree. Sometimes they nest by themselves and other times in colonies. Up to 8 eggs are laid.

During the breeding season in summer the Bronze Mannikin is often seen singly or in pairs. Out of the breeding season they tend to be in flocks.

Bronze Mannikins are common visitors to bird feeders and bird baths

Photo © Steven Herbert

Bronze Mannikins feeding on seeds

Photo © Steven Herbert

Above and below - Bronze Mannikins are quick to find bird feeders in gardens. They prefer the fine 'wild bird' seed. During winter they tend to feed in large flocks while during the summer breeding season they are often seen singly. It can get very busy at the bird feeder when a flock of Bronze Mannikins arrive

Photo © Steven Herbert

Bronze Mannikin adult with juveniles

Photo © Steven Herbert

Above - Happy family? I don't know if this is a male or female Bronze Mannikin but it does seem to have a handful of kids wanting attention!

Bronze Mannikin

Photo © Steven Herbert

Above and below - Bronze and Red-backed Mannikins are similar in looks but there are a number of differences. Sometimes they may feed together and, side by side, it is quite easy to tell them apart. The Bronze Mannikin (above) is a plain brown on the back and doesn't have too much black on the head. It has quite a bit of barring on its white underparts. The Red-backed Mannikin is a more attractive and clean-cut bird. The back is a reddish brown and there is extensive black on the head. The white underparts do not have other markings.

Red-backed Mannikin

Photo © Steven Herbert


References and further reading

A First Guide to South African Birds - 7th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Year Published: 1975 - Page: 29

Birds of the Natal Drakensberg Park - Author: Robin Little and William Bainbridge - Year Published: 1992 - Page: 117

Collins Illustrated Checklist - Birds of Southern Africa - 1st edition - Author: Ber van Perlo - Year Published: 1999 - Page: 81

Field Guide to the Birds of Kruger National Park - Author: Ian Sinclair and Ian Whyte - Year Published: 1991 - Page: 222

Geoff Lockwood's Garden Birds of Southern Africa - Author: Geoff Lockwood - Year Published: - Page: 143

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 5th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Year Published: 1985 - Page: 764

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 6th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Year Published: 1993 - Page: 763

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 4th Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Year Published: 2011 - Page: 430

List of South African Birds

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