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Red-backed Mannikin | Spermestes bicolor

The Red-backed Mannikin is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Estrildidae bird family group which includes birds such as Waxbills, Firefinches, Twinspots.

The description for the Red-backed Mannikin (Latin name Spermestes bicolor) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Spermestes bicolor can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 858 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 1068. You will find a picture of the Red-backed Mannikin on page 1057.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.

Neither the Latin nor the Engish name for this bird has been affected by recent nomenclature modifications ? these changes have been incorporated into Robert's 7th Edition where appropriate.

The Red-backed Mannikin is known in Afrikaans as Rooirugfret.

The Red-backed Mannikin has a height of 10 cms and weighs around 9 gms. The head is coloured black while the bill is coloured blue. The Spermestes bicolor has a brown coloured throat, black, grey legs and a chestnut coloured back. The eyes are brown.

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is black

Eyes are brown

Bill is blue

Legs are black, grey

Throat is brown

Back is chestnut

Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground

This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten .

Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Red-backed Mannikin is a monogamous bird which means that the bird finds and breeds with one partner for the rest of its life. The bird lays between 2 to 7 eggs and they are coloured white.

The nest is built high up in the tree canopy and is protected from predators by branches and the dense green foligae.

The Red-backed Mannikin is mainly found in light and densely wooded forests, where there are Mopane trees.

This bird is very common in most of the Southern African Forests

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition * edited by PAR Hockey, WRJ Dean and PG Ryan, published by "The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund."

copyright: Tony Roocroft +27-11-454-0105

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