Scaly-breasted Munia (Lonchura punctulata):

These are very small grain eating birds and look very similar to Sparrows. In our picturesque campus, they are mostly seen in groups of 10-15 birds while foraging for grains or other small seeds. In many cases they cannot be identified easily because of the totally camouflaging coat they have. I saw some of them yellow in color, perhaps caught and dyed to be sold as pets and later on freed. These are pretty famous pets I hear, called Nutmeg Mannikin or Spice Finch.

Distinctive Identifiers:

1. Broad, thick typical grain eating beak.

2. Dark brown gradient head

3. Brown body

4. Sparrow sized overall physique

5. Buffy underparts with scaly markings lending the bird its name.

Here are some pics to identify when you see them along roadside or in your backyard!

Scaly-breasted Munia