Chestnut Munia

Lonchura atricapilla




Estrildid Finches (Estrildidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:


Number of Eggs:

4 - 5

Incubation Days:


Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Location:

In short bush.

Nest Material:

Grass and strips of vegetation.





Chestnut Munia: Small, mostly uniform, chestnut colored estrildid finch with glossy black head and upper breast; rump and uppertail coverts red-chestnut; central belly to thighs and undertail coverts black or black-brown; eye ring dark gray; large, conical bill is pale blue gray; iris dark brown, legs dark gray. Sexes are similar; female has a less glossy head; upperparts are paler chestnut; smaller dark belly patch. Juvenile warm brown above, buff below; black bill that becomes dark gray soon after fledgling.

Breeding and Nesting

Chestnut Munia: Breeding occurs from May to November in the Indian parts of its range, June to September in Myanmar, and December to October in Malaysia. These birds nest in colonies. The nest is made of grass and placed in a bush. Four to five white eggs are laid in a large domed nest, and incubated by both sexes for 12 to 15 days.

Foraging and Feeding

Chestnut Munia: This Munia's favorite foods are large grain millet and sprouted seed. They use their conical bill to forage for grass seeds while clinging to stems, and forage on the ground. They will also land on the tall seed-bearing stalks of a weed, walking out to the end to eat the seeds.


Chestnut Munia: Call is a clear "pee" or "peet." Contact call is a loud "pink! pink!". Female's call is higher pitched. Song is a series of soft clicks, followed by "weee." It ends with a series of very quiet slurred notes, also described as bill-snaps.

Similar Species

Chestnut Munia (Palau): Black-headed Bunting has yellow underparts and rufous upperparts. Scaly-breasted Munia is assumed to be extirpated from Palau.

Undertail covertsX
Small feathers that cover the areas where the retrices (tail feathers) attach to the rump.
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
The ventral part of the bird, or the area between the flanks on each side and the crissum and breast. Flight muscles are located between the belly and the breast.
Eye ringX
The circle around the eye formed of feathers that are a different color from the rest of the face.
The area between the uppertail coverts and the back of the bird.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X