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Bronze Mannikin | Spermestes cucullatus

The Bronze 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 Bronze Mannikin (Latin name Spermestes cucullatus) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Spermestes cucullatus can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 857 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 1065. You will find a picture of the Bronze 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 Bronze Mannikin is known in Afrikaans as Gewone Fret.

The Bronze Mannikin has a height of 10 cms and weighs around 10 gms. The head is coloured black while the bill is coloured black. The Spermestes cucullatus has a black coloured throat, brown legs and a brown 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 black

Legs are brown

Throat is black

Back is brown

Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground

The Bronze Mannikin is usually seen hunting for food within the tree foliage

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

The Spermestes cucullatus forages mainly on the ground or at the base of trees, and low down in the shrubs eating mostly fruits and seeds.

Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Bronze 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 8 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 Bronze Mannikin is mainly found in light and densely wooded forests, where there are Mopane trees.

The bird is mainly found in the Savanna grasslands where it breeds and feeds.

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

The bird is an urban dweller as well, being at home in parks, gardens and in old vacated buildings

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

This bird is usually seen in small family groups or in large flocks

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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