Scaly-breasted Munia: Comfort behavior

posted in: Feathers-maintenance, Videography | 1

The Scaly-breasted Munias (Lonchura punctulata) that visited my garden to feed on the seeds of Siglap Grass (Zoysia matrella) had somewhat became used to my presence. They tolerated my camera and videocam as long as I was documenting them feeding LINK. However, they would not allow me to aim my equipment at them whenever they were perching on the bushes in the garden.

Pair of Scaly-breasted Munias preening.

An opportunity arose when I spotted a pair of Scaly-breasted Munias on the branch of the Golden Penda (Xanthostemon chrysanthus) one evening. I was able to document a pair indulging in their comfort behaviour – preening, stretching and even allopreening (mutual preening). This was made possible from a far distance using a 300mm zoom lens, as coming closer would invariable scare them away.

The pair was most likely a male and a female. Initially they were apart but soon moved close together as they vigorously preened the feathers of their chest, back and wings (above). One of the pair was seen a few times indulging in allopreening – preening its partner’s head feathers.

Then the rain came. The pair of munias flew off but there was a single Scaly-breasted Munia perching on a branch soaking in the rain. At the same time it was actively preening its feathers (above).

YC Wee
6th August 2018

  1. Hamesha

    i loved these videos. i have never seen a bird soaking in the rain hidden inside a tree. i have often wondered how they were coping.. now i know.

    and the couple preening each other.. i thought it was a picture of love and contentment..

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