Fun Chestnut-breasted Mannikin Facts For Kids

Ritika Shukla
Jan 31, 2024 By Ritika Shukla
Originally Published on Sep 02, 2021
Edited by Katherine Cook
Fact-checked by Kidadl Team
Chestnut-breasted mannikin facts for kids are interesting.
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.3 Min

The chestnut-breasted mannikin, which is also known as chestnut-breasted mannikin lonchura, munia lonchura and the bully bird, is a native of Australia. They are low altitude birds that are mostly found in coastal areas. They have a close resemblance to their cousin species, the tri-color munia and pearl-headed silverbills, but a distinctive feature of these birds is a dark bar around the chest. Like other finches, they are very amiable and extroverted and live in large flocks. They are perhaps the most sociable species in the Estrildidae family. These lively birds like to take up the role of the helpers of the group, as they would happily assist other birds with nest making. Nonetheless, they can get a bit dominating at times. They become aggressive if put up with a fight and are tough when defending themselves against an enemy.

If you happen to visit the countryside which is full of wavy fields and freshwater bodies, you might be able to catch a glimpse of these birds. Usually, they are spotted in wetlands because these are the breeding grounds for these birds. Chestnut-breasted mannikins stay in their flocks as long as the breeding season is around. Thereafter, they leave the flock in pairs to breed. While some bird pairs are known to last for a lifetime and others only stay together for one breeding season, these birds fall in the latter category. However, it's remarkable to note that a good part of their strength lies in their flocks.

Find the article intriguing? Check out some more fun bird facts on the cockatoo and blue jay.

Chestnut-Breasted Mannikin Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a chestnut-breasted mannikin?

The chestnut-breasted mannikin is a kind of passerine bird.  

What class of animal does a chestnut-breasted mannikin belong to?

The chestnut-breasted mannikin belongs to the class of Aves, which are birds.

How many chestnut-breasted mannikins are there in the world?

The chestnut-breasted mannikin originates from the northern and eastern coasts of Australia. In Southeast Asia, they can be mapped to the western region of Papua New Guinea and parts of Indonesia. There are six subspecies and seven forms of a chestnut-breasted mannikin.

These are the Castaneothorax found in eastern Australia, the Aassimilis found in northern Australia, the Ramsayi- found in southeastern Papua New Guinea, the Boschmai- found in Lake Wissel area in Irian Jaya, the Sharpii occurs in Irian Jaya and Papua New Guinea, and Uropygialis is found in western Papua New Guinea

Where does a chestnut-breasted mannikin live?

The chestnut-breasted mannikin lives in northern and eastern Australia. The most popular Australian territories to spot one are New South Wales and the Kimberly region. They are also spread out in Papua New Guinea, New Caledonia and French Polynesia as well. Asia and Australia are the two main continents where they live and it is rare to find them in abundance outside the Australian continent.  

What is a chestnut-breasted mannikin's habitat?

The chestnut-breasted mannikin habitat mainly consists of wetlands, swampy mangroves, river shores with grasses, reed beds, estuaries, and sugar cane fields. These birds nest in areas concealed with high grasses like sugar cane farms and swampy marshlands. At times, they can be seen in open grasslands foraging for food and crop fields, munching on grain stalks. In Australia, chestnut mannikins are cared for in aviaries as well.

Who do chestnut-breasted mannikins live with?

Chestnut mannikins get along very well with other finches. They make a good inmate in an aviary with the yellow-rumped mannikin, spice finches, grass finches, black munia, black-headed nun, and the black-headed siskin. These birds can often be spotted flocking with other finches near lakes and ponds while enjoying a bath and playing around with these birds.

How long does a chestnut-breasted mannikin live?

The average chestnut mannikin lives up to three to four years.  

How do they reproduce?

During the breeding season, these birds nest in areas concealed with high grasses like sugar cane farms and swampy marshlands. Around five to six eggs are laid in the clutch. Their nest is made up of fine dried grasses which is somewhat cup shaped. Their breeding season comes around in late fall and early winters and the incubation period lasts for around two weeks. After incubation, the nestlings stay an additional two to three weeks in the nest before they are introduced to the world. Notably, both parents assist in incubation. These birds breed only once a year, and the season breeding occurs in the early winter months.

What is their conservation status?

Their conservation status of the chestnut-breasted mannikin bird is Least Concern, according to the IUCN.  

Chestnut-Breasted Mannikin Fun Facts

What do chestnut-breasted mannikins look like?

Males and females look nearly identical in terms of appearance. They have a black face with a gray patch on the head, brown chest, a black breast bar, black under the tail,  gray crown and nape, gray bill with a white belly. The chest of male birds can appear to be bright orange and under the tail is a bright yellow. They occasionally have minor details of scaling around their nape to form an interesting pattern. The females are relatively paler with more mixed hues of yellow, olive and brown. The breast bar is relatively fainter in the females and baby birds. They occasionally have patterned spots on their head.

The chestnut-breasted mannikin bird likes to perch in its natural habitat of wetlands, swampy mangroves, river shores with grasses.

How cute are they?

These aviary birds are very friendly and chirpy, which alone can draw you towards them. Their tiny size and vibrant brown tone makes them twice as cute and attractive. They have a remarkable pattern that appears to have been designed by a skilled artist.

How do they communicate?

The chestnut-breasted mannikin song comprises simple and complex tones. It is interesting to note that some specific communication occurs between the paired birds. This communication begins in the form of songs that are meant to attract the potential pair. The male is introduced to the female for mating through peering and singing. They are not found to be communicating amongst themselves otherwise. This particular unique mode of communication is a tool to identify potential pairs if they are not already known to the breeder.

How big is a chestnut-breasted mannikin?

The chestnut-breasted munia bird is almost 10 times smaller than the biggest member of its species, the haw finch. This bird falls under the group of tinier finches.

How fast can a chestnut-breasted mannikin fly?

The chestnut-breasted mannikin wingspan ranges from 3.9-4.7 in (10-12 cm). They are swift flyers.

How much does a chestnut-breasted mannikin weigh?

The average weight of a chestnut mannikin bird is 0.5 oz (15 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

The chestnut-breasted mannikin male bird and chestnut-breasted mannikin female bird are known by the common name.

What would you call a baby chestnut-breasted mannikin?

Like many other birds, these birds are referred to as nestlings when they are still inside their nests and fledglings when they are freshly out of their nests. Furthermore, given that they are finches, the baby birds can be referred to as baby finches.

What do they eat?

An ideal chestnut-breasted mannikin diet includes seeds, millet, cereal crops, grass seeds which is their primary food. They occasionally pick winged termites and meal-worms as their food which makes them omnivorous.

Their nestlings and eggs can be threatened by predators living close by. Potential predators are cats, rats, and snakes which crawl through the fields and eat up their eggs.

Are they poisonous?

No they are not poisonous.

Would they make a good pet?

Chestnut mannikins are just as cute and friendly as they seem to be. They get along well with other birds, just like finches normally do. This makes them an ideal pet and an ideal aviary inmate. In northern Australia, they are kept in rain- forest aviaries and aviary escapes can also be found in their natural habitat. They can be kept in cages at home.

Did you know...

It is possible to cross-breed chestnut-breasted mannikins with yellow-rumped mannikins to produce healthy intermediate forms.

These birds migrate inland during the monsoon to escape dry season.

They are difficult to breed outside their natural environment. However, they breed well within their natural environment.

Chestnut-breasted mannikins can be classified as frugivores. Frugivores are animals and birds that eat seeds.

They can form flocks of hundreds.

How did chestnut-breasted mannikins get their name?

Chestnut mannikins have an outward round breast, light brown in color, and a rusty brown band lining the lower chest, which makes their upper body look like a chestnut, giving them the name chestnut-breasted. They belong to the family of Estrildid finches which are commonly known as munias and mannikins, giving them the name chestnut-breasted mannikin.

Is the chestnut-breasted mannikin endangered?

The chestnut-breasted mannikin range spans across six sub-species and seven forms. They are found in groups that can range up to 200 birds per flock and with a Least Concern status, these native Australian birds are far from being endangered. These birds are threat-free with respect to their conservation status as of now. However, like many other species of animals and birds, occasional predators are a common threat to them.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these hummingbird facts and vesper sparrow facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Chestnut breasted mannikin coloring pages.

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Written by Ritika Shukla

Bachelor of Commerce, Master of Business Administration

Ritika Shukla picture

Ritika ShuklaBachelor of Commerce, Master of Business Administration

Ritika holds a Bachelor's degree in Commerce from Mata Sundri College For Women, Delhi, and is currently pursuing her MBA from the School Of Management and Entrepreneurship at IIT Jodhpur. Ritika's exceptional research skills were recognized when she was awarded Student Project Of The Year by INSC for her academic research project on 'Psychological Stress, Antecedents, and Analysis for Undergraduates'. Moreover, she showcased her financial literacy skills by scoring among the All India Top-50 percentile in the National Financial Literacy Assessment Test (NCFE-NFLAT). Ritika is an avid reader of fictional novels and utilizes her spare time to engage in content writing. She demonstrates her commitment to academia through her voluntary work at her university, where she provides academic and on-campus support to fellow students.

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