A little munia fell out of the sky

posted in: Rescue | 1

“There was a very heavy downpour yesterday afternoon. Orpa, our Indonesian helper found a little bird on the ground in our backyard. She said it was really pathetic looking, all wet and shivering, eyes shut (left). She picked it up and wrapped it in a kitchen towel, dabbed its feathers dry. She kept it wrapped in tissue paper and left it where it could leave on its own whenever it was well enough.

“I came home soon after that, and Orpa told me what happened and showed me the bird. It was still sleepy looking like little owl in the day. I could tell it was a munia by its size and shape of the beak. But probably a juvenile, as there were no distinguishing features.

“I quickly brought out my camera and took a few shots (below) including a short video. It got more active and took off after a while, up to the lower branches of the starfruit tree. And then it flew away.

“Here are three photos of the little visitor. KC and Amy please help to identify it. My guess is… a juvenile Chestnut Munia (Lonchura atricapilla). The color of the beak is slightly blue. Juvenile Scaly-breasted Munia’s (Lonchura punctulata) beak should be darker grey. What other possibilities?”

Joyce Tan
24th October 2010

KC Tsang has this to say: “This should be the Scaly-breasted Munia, juvenile, as this is the most common in Singapore, as for Chestnut Munia, it apparently does not occur here unless it is another escapee… However the book and I may be wrong as I now remember taking a picture of the Chestnut Munia in Jurong .. Got to dig for the picture…”

  1. Tou Jing Yi

    more likely Scaly-breasted, both White-headed and Black-headed seemed to have a pale greyish bill, but Scaly-breasted has a darker upper mandible, as seen here. It would be harder to tell apart between White-headed and Black-headed juveniles but white-headed should have paler brown.

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