How Well Do You Know the Scaly-breasted Munia?

Scaly Breasted Munia | Bird Photography
Scaly Breasted Munia | Bird Photography

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 had 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.

Here are some photos of Scaly-breasted Munia.

42 thoughts on “How Well Do You Know the Scaly-breasted Munia?”

  1. Nice pictures. A pair of these birds decided to make a nest in our Ac outlet. For almost 6 months, I enjoyed watching them up close. Now they’re gone.

    1. Glad to hear that. We had a pair of Common Sparrows staying in our AC outlet. They were our morning alarm. They would stay in the AC during their mating and hatching season. Then go off and come back again. I’m sure the Munia’s who made home in your AC would be back soon.

  2. I actually learned a lot. Birds have always been fasincating to me in terms of how they grow their colors but I have never had the patience to study them. Your post was informative yet not dragging and the photo of the bird is really beautiful.

  3. It’s amazing the things that we can stumble upon. This bird, so common, yet you only just recently spotted it. For me, this is a small reminder of the beauty that surrounds us on a daily basis that goes overlooked. Great pictures!

    1. Absolutely agree with you. I noticed so many things around only after dedicated time to observe those. Prior to that too they were there but only I didn’t notice.

  4. well, i’m not a fan of birds, to be honest. I’m a little terrified of anything that has the ability to fly (insects, birds etc). but this scaly breasted munia does look cute! i like how the feathers at the chest area is a ruffled and looks super fluffy!

  5. Great capture and birds are such elusive creatures. My first thought before I saw the photos in more details was that is was a sparrow. We have a lot of them here in the Philippines. But no, this is different and like the ones we have, are pretty. Great reading too, because I think birds are fascinating animals.

    1. Yes Robert. It’s amazing to observe of bird behavior. We have the common sparrows also over here. A pair of sparrows used to build their nest in our AC outlet 🙂

  6. Very nice shots! I love how calm and peaceful the bird looks like in the photo. The feel in viewing the photo made me feel relaxed. I’m glad that there are still birds flocking around in parks. We don’t get to see any birds in the park in my place. I’m not sure if it is because of the pollution or because of the huge skyscrapers. Would have been nice to have a picnic at the park and just watch the birds fly from branch to branch. 🙂

  7. I have a Sony Cybershot P&S. Is your camera similar to mine?
    You have found an interesting niche of blogging- taking pictures of birds and small animals. It requires patience and I have very little of it. In the few photo walks that I have been to, I tried shooting birds with my Samsung phone camera , but miserably failed.

    1. Agree with you on the patience part.
      My photography gear includes a Canon SX50 HS. Partly point and shoot with some manual flexibility. However it’s 50x zoom equivalent of 1200mm is superb for bird photos. Another one is a DSLR Canon EOS 70D with a 18-135mm lens and a 70-300mm lens.

  8. It’s my first time seeing that kind of bird. Thank you for sharing a stunning photo of it. I could appreciate it better since you took a great shot of it. You’re good at taking a photo.

  9. I have not seen this bird yet, and I’m truly amazed on how you have beautifully captured them. I like the serenity of the place and the whole thing about your subject on your photo. This speaks about how good you are in taking candid photos like that birds. I also enjoy reading about the information and facts about that birds. They’re truly interesting and hopefully I can see them in person soon. Keep shooting!

  10. How adorable these Munia are! 🙂 I’m not a bird person, but I can appreciate beauty where it’s present. Love the photos too! If I had a bird I’d love to have around all the time, it would either be an owl or a dove. Also, I love watching bird flit about and carry on with their day. It gives me a sense that everything is okay.

  11. Wow! It takes real talent to photography birds. These images are gorgeous. I’m assuming you use a tripod, correct? I just recently bought one for myself and haven’t looked back! Happy New Year!

  12. Beautiful captures, Kcalpesh. I know bird photography is quite a challenge and you’ve succeeded in bringing such a nice composition here. I’m wondering how long you’ve stayed to get a clear photo of them and where you hide yourself while taking those photos. Birds like Scaly-breasted Munia looks skittish.

    1. These Munia’s seldom stay in one place. And yes, clicking bird snaps do need a lot of patience. I was out for an hour during this shoot thats when a group of boys playing there pointed out this flock of Munias.

  13. You were able to capture its beauty. Its eyes look so attentive. Its beak signifies strong character. And how it stands up straight, it shows confidence. Yet it (or they) allowed you to take some photos. That bird must be real friendly as well.

    1. This is one of the birds which always moves in a flock. And, it’s not very shy. I understood that from the fact that they didn’t fly away despite me going as close as about 2-3 meters from where they were.

  14. This is a very interesting bird. I do not think I can find this in our town, though. Bird-watching is such an interesting hobby and tagging your camera along makes you hit two birds with one stone, so to speak. Loving your photos and looking forward to more of your adventure with nature here.

  15. My first camera was a Sony Cybershot! It’s where I learned to use a digicam for the first time. (I’ve since switched to a Canon 100D.) I never really was able to get that good a photo with my cybershot (because it was an earlier model), so I am pretty impressed you captured this bird so well. I have been interested in taking my kids bird watching, and I never thought to bring a camera along, so, thanks for giving me the idea!

  16. What a beautiful shot of a beautiful creature. I haven’t seen them around here. It’s also my first time to hear about such bird. I want to own a DSLR as well and take beautiful photos. For now, I am just using my phone to take photos.

  17. Yes, I agree with the others. This is one beautiful capture. How were you able to know that that is the name of the bird? Because personally, I would just say Bird Photography but I wouldn’t be able to distinguish its name. I remember a movie about this shot. A bird photography contest. I just forgot the title xD

    1. Jerny, I have joined a group on facebook. Birds of India. Whenever I picture a new species I would just go to this forum and post the picture and ask for the ID of the bird. That really helps.

  18. You know, I have never even heard of this bird before! The chest detail is certainly unique though and it is a very beautiful bird. I am impressed by your photo, especially of something live. My photos always come out blurry – it’s something I’m working on.

  19. I love these pictures, very well captured. Birds always fascinate me, and it was very interesting that you’ve included some information about the bird along with the amazing photography.

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