Scaly-breasted Munia

Lonchura punctulata  in हिंदी
Scientific Name:  Lonchura punctulata

Name:  Scaly-breasted Munia

    Local Names:
  • Gujarati     શીંગબાજ, ટપકાંવાળી મુનિયા, ટાલીયું તપશિયુ
  • Marathi     ठिपकेदार मुनिया, खवलेवाला मुनिया, मनोली
  • Hindi     मुनिया, सीनाबाज, तेलिया मुनिया, बिन्दुकित मुनिया
  • Malayalam     ചുട്ടീയാറ്റ
  • Nepali     कोटेरो मुनियाँ
  • Tamil     புள்ளிச் சில்லை
  • Assamese     ফুটুকী টুনি
  • Bengali     তিলা মুনিয়া
  • French     Capucin damier
  • Punjabi     ਤੇਲੀ ਮੁਨੀਆ
Contribute Photo

The scaly-breasted munia is about 11–12 centimetres (4.3–4.7 in) long and weighs 12–16 grams (0.026–0.035 lb). The adult has a stubby dark bill typical of grain eating birds, brown upperparts and a dark brown head. The underparts are white with dark scale markings. The sexes are similar, although males have darker markings on the underside and a darker throat than females. Immature birds have pale brown upperparts, lack the dark head found in adults, and have uniform buff underparts that can be confused with juveniles of other munia species such as the tricolored munia (Lonchura malacca) across the Asian and island populations and the black-throated munia (Lonchura kelaarti) in parts of India or Sri Lanka. Populations within their wide distribution range show variations in plumage color and size. Along with other Estrildines, these species are thought to have originated in Asia. The species has been introduced to other parts of the world due to its popularity as a cage bird and populations have established in the wild.

Size in cm:

11-12 cm

Size in Inch

4-5 Inch

Primary color:


Secondary color:

black   (Bird may have more colors)


Mostly seeds, also some berries and insects.

Habit and habited:

Open secondary forest, bushes and cultivation,


Typical song is a series of klik-klik-klik or tit-tit-tit notes followed by a short series of whistles and churrs, and ending with longer weeee; contact calls include a repeated tit-ti-tit-ti and a loud kit-teee kit-teee.

Bird Type:

Perching Birds

The Scaly-breasted Munia is a small perching bird. The Scaly breasted Munia has been introduced in Puerto Rico and Hispaniola, where they are already widespread in lowland agricultural areas and are called pechijabao. Flocks of fifteen or more have been observed visiting bird feeders in Orange County, California, USA. It has also been introduced to Australia where it has a common to uncommon distribution along the east coast, from north of Townsville to south of Sydney. The Scaly-breasted Munia is a small gregarious bird which feeds mainly on seeds. It frequents open woodland and cultivation. The nest is a large domed grass structure in a tree or under the eaves of a house into which 4–10 white eggs are laid. The Scaly-breasted Munia is 11–12cm in length. The adult has a stubby dark bill, brown upperparts and darker brown head. The underparts are white with black scale markings. The sexes are similar, but immature birds have pale brown upperparts, lack the darker head and have uniform buff underparts.

Distribution Map

  •     Resident (inc. local and altitudinal migrants)
  •     Former range (no recent records but may still survive)
  •     Summer visitor (including summer monsoon)
  •     Winter visitor
  •     Passage (autumn and/or spring) visitor
  •     known to be occasional, scarce or erratic
  •     Small isolated population (actual range smaller)  
  •     Isolated record(s) - one or more in the same area  
  •  colour coded for seasonality as per coloured ranges, black denotes unspecified season

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