Chestnut-breasted Mannikin

Mannikin, Chestnut-breasted Mannikin perched on a thick shoot

What does it look and sound like? The Chestnut-breasted Mannikin is a beautiful, thick-set finch with a powerful bill. The upperparts are rich chestnut, with a grey crown. The underparts are generally white, with a broad chestnut breast-band, bordered below with black, and conspicuous black face and throat. The call, ‘teet’ or ‘tit’, which may be either bell-like or long and drawn out, is used in a variety of situations. The song, however, is long and high-pitched, often lasting up to 12 seconds.

Where does it live? Ranges from the Kimberleys, Western Australia, to Sydney, New South Wales.

What are its habitats and habits? It is common in rank grasses and reeds, where it is highly social, often forming vast flocks of several hundred birds.

Scientific name: Lonchura castaneothorax

Do you want to know the best places to go to see this species? Check out our book “Australia’s Birdwatching Megaspots” – available for purchase through our secure online store