The Occasional Travel Blog

Finches by Another Name – The Mannikins

This is a great resource for Australia birding.


This week as we continue to be prevented from birding, due to extended lock-down, I thought it opportune to feature a unique group of finches called Mannikins, of which Australia has three species. along with the Firetials are known as Old World finches. We have four species of Mannikins: the Chestnut-breasted Mannikin (pictured above) found in far north and north eastern Australia; the Nutmeg Mannikin found only along the coastal forests and woodlands of Queensland and NSW; and lastly the Yellow-rumped Mannikin and Pictorella Mannikin, of which we have not yet seen either, found only in the far north of our Northern Territory.

Like other birds of the Finch family, they are basically seed eaters. The Chestnut-breasted Mannikins spend most of their time feeding from tall grasses rather than on the ground as the Nutmeg Mannikin and other finches do. They also eat some insects, such…

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