Monday, December 8, 2014

Scaly Breasted Munia at Native Place, Kamshet

Winter approaches and at Kamshet the paddy in the fields is ready for harvest. Driving through one can see people hard at work harvesting the grain. 

Last weekend I spotted a Scaly Breasted Munia in the garden from the veranda outside my room at Native Place  – Have only seen these birds once a few monsoons ago and was thrilled to spot  them so close to the house.  They were busy building a nest in the pergola outside the lake front rooms – this was easy to deduce as the birds were flying in and out with long grasses in their beaks and disappearing into the climber cover 

Here is some info on this little bird - The Scaly-breasted Munias breed year round and may have multiple broods on a good year, up to 3-4 broods. The male brings nesting materials while the female builds, often from the inside. In some, the breeding nest is later used as a roosting nest.

The nest is an untidy globe made out of grass and bamboo leaves, with a side entrance.  The nests are not woven and material is simply pushed together. But the nests are well-made, robust and waterproof. The birds work tirelessly and the nest can become an enormous globe. Both parents incubate. The eggs hatch in about 2 weeks and the young are fed entirely vegetable matter, which is regurgitated by the parents. They fledge in 18-19 days. Juveniles often form their own flocks after leaving their parents, and wander about together.  

Astrid Rao 

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