Photo Jean-François Charles
4 inches. Male and female identical in appearance. Grey cap and nape. The cheeks and the throat are black as well as around the eyes. Pink-brown back and reddish wings. The chest is red, highlighted by a black band at the base of the belly, which is sometimes a black much more sustained in the female. The belly is white, the sides and underside of the wings are black. The tail is brown, the feathers are black. The tail feathers are brown. Brown eyes. Beak and legs are grey.
Category: Introduced Birds
Native from Australia, the species was introduced in the Windward Islands in the late 19th century, and the Marquesas in seventies. It is now present in Tubuai, Rimatara and Rurutu (Austral). Found in Makatea in the early 20th century, it has disappeared from this island.
Very wide distribution in the Marquesas. In Tahiti, the species is more localized on the coastal regions and the entry of large valleys. It is a gregarious species that moves in groups of ten to fifty individuals.
“Teet” or “tit”; “Ti-tu-ti-ti-you” repeated several times by different individuals of the same group.
To listen the Chestnut-breasted Mannikin:
Herbs’ seeds and flying termites.
The nest is spherical, compressed on the sides, its opening is lateral. It is made of plaited dry grass in the bushes or in tall grass two meters from the ground. Four to six white eggs, 17 x 12 mm, are incubated 12 to 13 days by both sexes. The young fledges 21-22 days after breeding in the nest.
Original text by Caroline BLANVILLAIN – Supplements and update by various members of the SOP Manu.
Scientific Name: Lonchura castaneothorax (Gould, 1837)
Vini (Society, Marquesas, Autral)
Introduced in French Polynesia where it occupies an ecological niche deemed void or left as-is by the disappearance of Ground-doves, Alopecoenas sp., also consume seeds and herbs. The species is classified as “Least Concern” (LC) on the IUCN Red List.