In March 2011, Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS was in Kuching City, Sarawak, Malaysia where he encountered six Dusky Munias (Lonchura fuscans), a common species in Borneo. They were all feeding on the nuts of the winged scleria (Scleria bancana), a common sedge growing in the damp scrub around an urban housing area (above left). In Peninsular Malaysia, the White-rumped Munia (L. striata) similarly feeds on these nuts.
“These are not the easiest munias to photograph or watch as they tend to go deeper into the bush or undergrowth when you approach,” wrote Amar. “They are largely endemic to Borneo with populations on some Philippine islands.”
He caught up with more Dusky Munias on the Kuching to Buntal Road. They were feeding happily with some Black-Headed Munias (L. malacca). He saw their nests in the Lagerstroemia trees at 4-5 meters height (above right).
“The calls are a sharp 2 syllable “pee-pee” (Birds of Borneo by Smythies) sounding almost like one: HERE. The graphic look at them using Audacity software to show that it is actually two notes (below). These calls were made when I approached and it moved deeper into the tall grass,” wrote Amar.
Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia