Black-throated Munias

Black-throated Munias (Lonchura kelaarti)

The Black-throated Munias or Jerdon’s Mannikin (Lonchura kelaarti) is a small passerine bird. This estrildid finch is a resident breeding bird in the hills of southwest India, the Eastern Ghats and Sri Lanka. The endemic Sri Lankan subspecies, L. k. kelaarti is sometimes considered to as a separate species distinct from L. k. jerdoni of the Western Ghats of India.

Black-throated Munias Perched on Wire Steel
Black-throated Munias Perched on Wire Steel1

The Black-throated Munia is a small gregarious bird which feeds mainly on seeds. It frequents open hill woodland and cultivation. The nest is a large domed grass structure in a tree or creepers on a house into which 3-8 white eggs are laid in India, and usually five in Sri Lanka.

The Black-throated Munia is 12cm in length with a long black tail. The adult of the south Indian has a stubby grey bill, dark brown upperparts and blackish head, breast and wings. L. k. kelaarti has pinkish underparts and rump, and L. k. jerdoni has barred black and white underparts and rump. Males and females look alike, but immature lack the darker head and have uniform underparts.

The binomial commemorates the zoologist Edward Frederick Kelaart

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