Magpie Mannikin | Spermestes fringilloides | Birds & Birding Southern Africa

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

Robert's Birding Information On The Magpie Mannikin

The description for the Magpie Mannikin (Latin name Spermestes fringilloides) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Spermestes fringilloides can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 859 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 1067. You will find a picture of the Magpie Mannikin on page 1057.

This bird is known as Pied Mannikin in the Roberts 6th Edition. The Magpie Mannikin is known as a "lifer" in the birding circles of South Africa.

The Magpie Mannikin has a height of 12 cms and weighs around 17 gms. The head is coloured black while the bill is coloured brown. The Spermestes fringilloides has a black coloured throat, grey legs and a brown coloured back. The eyes are brown.

The male Spermestes fringilloides has physical features that are slightly different from the female bird.

Magpie Mannikin (Pied Mannikin) Colouration

Head is black

Eyes are brown

Bill is brown

Legs are grey

Throat is black

Back is brown

Photo's & Differentiating Between Male, Female & Juveniles

Please click the images below to make them larger:

Male Adult  
Female Adult  
Non Breeding Plumage N/A

Magpie Mannikin 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.

Magpie Mannikin Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Magpie 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 4 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 foliage.

The Magpie Mannikin is found in the Southern African wetlands, riverine forests and moist grasslands.

The bird is at home in riverine forests and close to water bodies such as lakes, dams and streams.

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...