Hooded Munia (Lonchura spectabilis) - Wiki
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[Photo] Hooded Munia (Lonchura spectabilis), Papua New Guinea. Source: Flickr (www.flickr.com/photos/djringer/276056748/). Date: Taken on October 21, 2006. Author: djringer (www.flickr.com/photos/djringer/).
The Hooded Munia Lonchura spectabilis also known as Hooded Mannikin or New Britain Mannikin or Sclater's Mannikin is a species of estrildid finch found in Indonesia & Papua New Guinea.
The Hooded Munia is a small munia. It is whitish below, brown above and has a golden to orange rump. It is unlikely to be confused with other birds in its range. The juvenile is similar in appearance to the much larger in size junvenile Grand Mannikin Lonchura grandis.
The Hooded Munia is a bird of foothills and mid-montane grassland. It is particularly fond of land that has been cleared by man.
The Hooded Munia is usually found in flocks of up to 30 or 40 individuals (Meyer 1930). The species is so unwary of man that it could be stalked and caught by hand (Diamond 1967). A bonded pair will always stay close to each other. It has been seen that the male will stay alert for danger, while his mate feeds or bathes. When the female files off, the male will follow immediately.
Call and song
Both sexes have peep or seep call. However, the loud call note of both sexes is different. The female will have a double-noted sileep or tsilip. The male will have a clear single note seep or tseep.
The song consists of entirely of a series high-pitched weee notes. After several weees the male may produce up to 20 pee notes, one after another. There is a soft, more complex subsong, uttered by a male in social situation or when alone.
It is observed that the Hooded Munia feeds on seeds of the introduced grass Rottboellia exaltata' as large as rice grains. They habitually feed by clinging to the stems of the growing grasses and plucking seeds from the inflorescences.
According to the Kalam native, Hooded Munias are very fond of the algae that forms a scum on stagnant pools and puddles. The local will shoot them at these sites when they are preoccupied with their feeding.
Courtship and display
An unpaired male in healthy condition will sing advertisement songs directed at particularly nothing. He will begin singing with his head level, and bill opening and closing and a slight hint of bobbing. But soon his body will become motionless.
However, when a female is near-by, the male may preface his display by flying about with a bit of nesting material. (Goodwin 1982) He will lower himself and edges along the perch and twists towards her. He will begin to sing with body upright, head pointed towards the bird. The head is held level or slightly downward, the throat is pumping and the weee song becomes pulsating. The flanks and belly feathers are fluffle out. In the final stage of the display, the head is stretched up fully, the bill is held wide open without any movement of the mandibles. And the head is turn from side to side. Then he edges towards her maybe with little hops with the intention to mount. There is no noticeable movement and the song is continual high-pitched trill. This is when the high extended peeeeeee part of the song is uttered.
The breeding season is in October, at the time the taro is setting its new shoots. The female may lay five to six eggs. If you find a nest with droppings in it, you will know that a whole family are using it for a roost, and it is known as a Young men's house.
The nest is a flattish ovoid of grasses, staw and finer stems and fibres. It is usually placed in grasses or in a bush. The location of the site undoubtedly influences the shape and the size of the nest, as with most munias.
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