Friday, June 7, 2019

Nutting out questions about mannikins

What's in a name? Nutmeg Mannikin (Lonchura punctulata)? Or Scaly-breasted Munia? Or Spice Finch? Still Nutmegs for most these days. But Munias may come out on top. An interesting question about finches, mannikins and munias in the Townsville area has been their fate in the wake of Cyclone Oma's aftermath 12-day, two-metre deluge flooding the region. My numbers have been roughly 60-70 percent down since March, though flocks of juvenile mannikins are now showing up. But adult numbers remain down. Not sure why. Working on it.


Ironically, a cemetery nearby is part of  home base for a flock of mostly adult Zebra Finches. A happy conjunction of life and death.


Meanwhile, counter to the trend with small seed-eaters (granivores), Peaceful Doves are everywhere locally in their usual abundance. Perhaps a combination of size and more generalist diet meant they avoided the likely fate of many adult finches during and right after the deluge.
 

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