Scaly-breasted Munias foraging in the rain… joined by a sparrow and a myna

on 12th March 2018


It was raining lightly in the afternoon and most birds disappeared from the scene. Then the rain lightened to a drizzle, then to a light drizzle. Suddenly a small group of Scaly-breasted Munias (Lonchura punctulata) flew in and started foraging on the short grass of my garden (above). They were picking on the seeds of the Siglap Grass (Zoysia matrella).

Usually the grass patches of a garden would be regularly mowed and this would leave the grass short and tidy. This would see to it that grass would not be fruiting, as the fruiting stalks would make the grassy patch untidy. As I usually leave the grass to grow wild, fruiting stalks develop and these attract birds.

MuniaSB with SparrowET-forage

When the rain stopped, a single Eurasian Tree-sparrow (Passer montanus) flew in and joined the munias picking on the seeds of the Siglap Grass as if they were part of the family (above). Maybe because the sparrow was about the same size as the munia, it blended in, without being chased away by the latter… unlike when a Javan Myna (Acridotheres javanicus) arrived and scattered the munias away (see end of video).

YC Wee
23rd September 2017

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

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