Since our earlier postings on munias and the grass seeds they take, we have been provided with more images that are being highlighted here:
Richard Lim photographed a Scaly-breasted Munia (Lonchura punctulata) at a resort in Bintan, Indonesia eating the seeds of the Pennisetum sp. grass (above left).
We are also showing Yang Weixing’s image of the White-headed Munia (Lonchura maja) feasting on the seeds of the crab grass, Digitaria sp. (above right).
Howard Banwell’s images come from Kuala Selangor, Malaysia. The adult (above left) and a juvenile (above right) Scaly-breasted Munia were photographed eating the seeds of the lesser brachiaria grass (Urochloa subquadripara, formerly Brachiaria distachya).
The Scaly-breasted Munia by Daisy O’Neill (above left) shows it eating the seeds of possibly the tiger grass (Thysanolaena latifolia) in Malaysia. The White-rumped Munia (Lonchura striata) by Johnny Wee shows the bird eating padi (Oryza sativa).
These birds eat mainly seeds – of grasses and other weeds, including seeds of casuarinas. They also eat the green alga, Spirogyra.
1. Duistermaat, H., 2005. Field guide to the grasses of Singapore (Excluding the bamboos). Gardens’ Bulletin Singapore Supplement 57. 176 pp.
2. Gilliland, H. B., 1971. A revised floras of Malaya. Vol. III Grasses of Malaya. Botanic Gardens Singapore. 319 pp.
3. Henderson, M.R. (1954). Malayan wild flowers – Monocotyledons. Malayan Nature Society, Kuala Lumpur. 357 pp.
4. Keng, H., S. C. Chin & H. T. W. Tan, 1990. The concise flora of Singapore Vol. II: Monocotyledons. Singapore University Press & National Parks Board. 215 pp.
It is striking that munias in Singapore and Malaysia seem to prefer exotic grass species, with the African Panicum maximum their absolute favourite from my own observations. In most cases they seem to take the seeds while they are still green.
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