Scaly-breasted Munia a beautiful looking bird which is normally as the same size as a Sparrows and may not be that hard to find even in the cities. But I’d not seen one until once when I had gone out for a photo-walk on a Sunday morning aiming to shoot anything worth a capture. When I crossed the Vashi Toll Plaza, to my left in one of the parks I saw a flock of egrets venturing out on the park lawn. That was good enough a site to attract me. To reach this park I had to take a walk through the NMSA sports ground in Vashi where there were a few young boys playing cricket. I sat there for a while watching the game when at a distance, I saw a flock of these tiny birds which initially I had mistaken for sparrows so without much excitement, I used my Canon Powershot SX50 HS to zoom in on one of them. It’s then that I realized that it wasn’t a sparrow. It was a different bird species. Some of them had scales on front and some didn’t. But structurally both were the same with similar kind of thick beak which almost looked metallic. In all the excitement, I tried moving closer to the flock, shot after shot. When I reached real close, they all flew off the ground. From there, they all landed on a tree and then, back to the ground. To watch them fly together in the same direction and in a similar pattern was almost like watching a parade. I couldn’t click too many pictures as later the boys playing cricket started running on the ground and were all over so that didn’t leave much scope for these birds to come down again. I later googled for the description of the bird and found out the name to be Scaly-breasted Munia.
Later I noticed this bird in the city-jungle (read glossary on left hand side menu) near our residence when I had been out to again to capture a few more bugs & bees. This time round I went further inside the trail, all the way to the dead end where I saw a well. A few boys from the nearby area had come there for a swim. One of the boys pointed out to me saying “waha pe birds ka group hai” meaning there’s a flock of birds over there. I checked out the area by going further ahead and noticed a flock of Scaly-breasted Munia behaving playful and moving from pone branch to the other. They were nicely hanging around the well on the tall grass and in between looking at each other, trying to communicate. That was one real exciting day. This flock of Scaly-breasted Munia wasn’t so shy and allowed me to get closer to take some pictures.
What do Scaly-breasted Munia eat?
This Munia usually eats grass seeds. Other than that they consume berries and small insects. Scaly-breasted Munia are mainly found in flocks and use soft calls or whistles to communicate. These are found in a varied range of habitats but usually remain close to grassland and water source.
More information about Scaly-breasted Munia can be found here.