It was brought to my attention that I tend to go birdwatching alot. So here is my attempt to document my outings and sightings. I also hope to show photos of as many of my ticks as possible.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Bird of the Week: Chestnut-breasted Mannikin

Lonchura castaneothorax
This species ranges from the Kimberely to the south coast of NSW and is reasonably common within its range, particularly in the north. They are a very social species and it is not unusual for flocks of over 100 birds to congregate at certain times of the year. They are generally associated with areas of tall grasses and reeds in which they love to feed and breed.
The sexes are visually identical and young birds are predominately brown with some adult markings sometimes visible eg. breast bar or black face. Their call is best described as a sweet 'plink'.
My first encounter with these guys occurred in the tall seeding grasses behind Redhead Beach, Lake Macquarie. They are generally seen around many of the lower Hunter wetlands and surrounding farmland but can be hard to find at times and appear to be very nomadic.
Watching large flocks associating with other finches in the NT and Nth Qld is a must for all birders.

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