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J Ciarletta

Carlsbad, CA, United States


Scaly-breasted Munias have been infiltrating our backyard bird feeder now for the past few years.


Scaly-breasted Munia (aka Nutmeg Mannikin)

Scaly-breasted Munia visiting birdbath.

19 replies on “Scaly-breasted Munia (aka Nutmeg Mannikin)”

Barbara Tyce says:

This bird and several others like him are feeding in my backyard. How did he get to Milton Florida?

Tulsa Morein says:

I have had them for the last couple of years. Come then, disappear for while then return. Last year had a group of about 15 that were great fun to watch on the feeder. I was told there was a colony on the West side of Pensacola.

Sharon C says:

I’ve had 10-12 of them at my feeder and bird bath for the last week or so. I live in south Mobile County, 13 miles north of Dauphin Island, AL. I believe that they are juveniles as they are just starting to get they “checkered” feathers. They’re really pretty birds.

Christine Hipsh says:

I just had a pair here on Graham Bayou close to Foley, Al. today.

Jennifer Waddington says:

I just saw one in my birdbath in Southern California!

Rebecca Urbaniak says:

I just had a pair of them at my feeder, I had no idea what they were, but glad I can add them to my list of birds . Really pretty birds

Mike Toole says:

I have a pair that came to my Purple Martin gourd rack this week and are actually beginning what appears to be nest building. Will they breed this late in the season.

Holly Faulkner, Project Assistant says:

Hi Mike, Purple Martins usually stop breeding by mid-August, so it’s unlikely a new nest will be used, but if you have any developments on that front, we encourage you to contact NestWatch, another citizen science project here at the Cornell Lab, at

Gary Lovorn says:

I’ve had 6 at my feeders the past 3 days in west Mobile, AL.

Jan Mathis says:

I have had a small group of about 7 birds on platform feeder in backyard about 8 feet from kitchen sink window. They have been coming for the past 3 days here in Sugar Land, Texas. It took me that long to figure out what they were, as they were not in any of my birding books for Texas. The feathers are so distinctive and their small size and bill shape made me think they were some kind of finches but it took some time on Internet to find a picture to identify them.

Mike F says:

Have had up to 14 SBM coming to 2 large tube feeders…which they empty in about five days. Orange Beach, AL

Lucy Sowell says:

I have several in my yard taking seeds from my feeder. Very pretty birds. I couldn’t figure out what they were until I found them in my field guide.

Virginia Vail says:

I’ve had repeat visits from up to 4 at a time in NEPensacola. Had no clue what they were until a friend who’d lived in California told me

JP Nelson says:

Have just seen them this summer in Santa Barbara. 2 adults and 4 juveniles. They seem very comfortable with the other birds at the feeder, and dont seem to spook as much at my approach. I have small aviaries here so wild birds seem to like the noise

Richard Kondrat says:

Have seen 3 of them at the feeder in our backyard.

roger jones says:

We’ve had 2-4 at our feeder the past week here in Gulf Shores, Alabama
Took a while to figure out what they are!

Kathi says:

3-5 visiting my yard for the past 2-3 months here near the coast in San Diego, CA. Love watching them!

Susan says:

I loved having them last late summer/fall at my feeder in Pensacola and can’t wait to see them return. Cardinals, Jays, Woodpeckers, and Nunias are my favorites!!

Jonathan says:

Enough with the Munia. Taking over my feeders in Santa Barbara. 30+ and counting.

Any ideas on how to discourage them?

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