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Mannikin, bronze

Identify and index birds in Southern Africa

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Johan van Rensburg
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Mannikin, bronze

Unread postby Johan van Rensburg » Sat Jul 03, 2010 7:57 pm

Bronze manikins (Lonchura cucullata) 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.

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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.

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Lizet Grobbelaar
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Re: Mannikin, bronze

Unread postby Lizet Grobbelaar » Sun Jul 04, 2010 4:16 pm

Excellent thanks Johan! :clap:

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Re: Mannikin, bronze

Unread postby DinkyBird » Sun Jul 04, 2010 7:12 pm

JvR - they are very regular, and the majority of visitors, to my seed feeder in our garden here in EL at the moment. I love them. They arrive in flocks. I have noticed tho, that come spring and summer, they are not that regular in visiting the feeder, nor do they seem to stick together in a flock. I have often wondered where they disappear to.

We had one build a nest in an ornamental tree close to our patio last summer, (a very scrappy nest) it did not survive the first strong wind of summer.
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Skopsie
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Re: Mannikin, bronze

Unread postby Skopsie » Fri Jul 09, 2010 4:13 pm

I agree with DB on their disappearance during spring and summer. I think they just prefer their natural habitat and seeds that are more available during times of abundance. I see the same tendency with the Pied Mannikins at the feeder.

SO and I were watching the Mannikins the other day. As if from nowhere a Little Sparrowhawk came by and took one of the Mannikins. There was a big consternation at the feeder. They were very noisy and fled in all directions. The feeder didn’t have one single visitor for the rest of the day. It seems I am now feeding Sparrowhawks!!!
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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby Crested Val » Thu Mar 31, 2011 11:21 am

Please could someone help with these birds all taken this morning in my garden.
Some may be the same!!! They look different in some lights!!
Thanks :thumbs_up:

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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby TrevorC » Thu Mar 31, 2011 12:33 pm

Hi VGS

I am certainly no expert but my guess would be:

2. Bronze Mannikin

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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby Crested Val » Thu Mar 31, 2011 12:59 pm

Cheers Trevor!!! :thumbs_up:
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Skopsie
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Re: Mannikin, bronze

Unread postby Skopsie » Sun Sep 25, 2011 10:10 pm

Here is one at a nest, that they use for roosting if they don't breed.

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Re: Mannikin, bronze

Unread postby wildtuinman » Fri Oct 24, 2014 7:15 am

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Re: Mannikin, bronze

Unread postby Porridge » Fri Oct 24, 2014 8:09 am

Superb pic, wtm!! :clap: :clap:
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Re: Mannikin, bronze

Unread postby wildtuinman » Tue Oct 28, 2014 9:01 am

Thanks Porridge. :D
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