) are small, gregarious birds, that are easy to identify.
They are found over large areas of sub-Saharan Africa but in South Africa their distribution is limited to warm, moist areas of the east coast of KwaZulu-Natal spreading inland to the eastern Transvaal. They are by far the most regular visitor at my bird feeder in St Lucia. Their distribution can overlap with that of Red-backed and Pied Mannikins, Skopsie’s garden in Tzaneen being a prime example where all three species sometimes visit simultaneously.
The bronze manikin is primarily a bird of edge habitats, often found in suburban areas, frequenting and nesting in areas that replicate their preferred habitat: a moist, wooded environment. In my garden the combination of seed feeder with a bird bath in close proximity suits their liking very well.
They breed building their nests in suburban gardens where their breeding activity, nestling and fledgling vocalizations make them quite conspicuous. The male gathers material used by the female to build the nest, which consists of an untidy ball-shaped structure. It is typically placed in a bush, tree or man-made structure, such as a post or beam of a building.
Bronze Mannikins are difficult to sex by appearance, but they can be aged by feather colouration; juveniles have brown plumage and a darkly coloured bill while adults have black head feathers and white breast feathers and show a two-tone bill with the upper mandible near black and the lower light grey.Large viewLarge view
Because they are such small birds, it is difficult for them to stay warm. During cold spells in winter often forces they together in huddles to preserve heat.Large view