Saturday, April 7, 2012

Scaly-breasted Munia

Scaly-breasted Munia, 31st March 2012, SK Kpg Masjid, Bekenu.

High on the my list of boogie-birds, birds that only I seemed unable to see whilst it's the most common sight for everybody else, is the Scaly-breasted Munia.

Scaly-breasted Munia is supposedly common in coastal scrub and grasslands in Miri especially Kuala Baram. The first sighting I've had of this little seed eater was back in 1998 on our first Asian Wetland Census near Kpg Batu Satu, Kuala Baram north of Lutong with Lee Bor Seng, Sparrow Tan and John Parr. Unfortunately, that was my first and last sighting of this munia. Apparently it's all over the place in Kpg Masjid, our regular haunt. Most fellow birds have fellows are poised with the loaded, "Are you blind or something?" everytime I mentioned I have not seen this bird since 1998.

That unlucky spell was broken recently when I finally got my perhaps best-est of Scaly-breasted Munia during a workshop for little birders at Kpg Tengah that was conducted by MNS Miri Branch for Sekolah Kpg Masjid and Sekolah Kpg Angus, Bekenu. These little fellas (the munia) were scattered all over the school yard. After almost 15 years, talk about the quary being under your nose, I finally managed a half-way decent photograph of this little guy, on my second sighting.

The picture above was made while we were waiting for the students to arrive. It was captured within the school compound using a Canon 7d and EF400/5.6 handheld. Rest assured there'll be another proper session to further elucidate the fine details of the scaly pattern on the front of Scaly-breasted Munia with more appropriate gear and absolutely a steady tripod.

Beautiful pattern on the front of Scaly-breasted Munia, it's Malay name "Pipit pinang" probably originated from similar patterns which can be found on the inside of areca nuts, buah pinang.

Images and words,
Nazeri Abghani/MNS Miri/April 2012


  1. Nice shot. Seen this when i was still a kid but quite strange i did not see them anymore now..

  2. My first sighting also on 31st March 2012.

  3. I am going there again this Saturday with the 600mm to get a better shot. What I miss from ny childhood days is the White-headed Munia.