Those of us living along the eastern side of South Africa are blessed by the presence of possibly the most cheerful birds ever, the tiny Bronze Mannikins (Spermestes cucullatus). They mostly appear in small flocks that flit in and out of the foliage making soft buzzing and twittering sounds before settling down on the feeder, perching very close together. There is no keeping a ‘social distance’ for them as it seems as if it is ‘the closer the better’ for them if there is space enough. The adults have black heads, a bronze-green shoulder patch on the outer scapular feathers, and white bellies that are slightly barred on the flanks.

By contrast, the juvenile Bronze Mannikins are a uniform dull brown.

Bronze Mannikins are quick to come to the feeder once I have filled it up.

As they are attracted to seeds, I have allowed some of the spilt bird seed to grow in the garden so that these tiny birds can feed on the seed heads as they mature.

20 thoughts on “BRONZE MANNIKINS

  1. Aren’t they lovely! Our little flock of mannkins has not visited for a while, but autumn brings more bird visitors back to our garden from wherever they go in the summer. Today we had our first mannikin visitors for some time. We have left lots of tall grasses to go to seed and they headed straight for these. Nice to have them back 🙂


    • We too have allowed indigenous grasses – and bird seed – to mature and go to seed all over the garden as we know this will provide decent food for the birds. Fortunately, the Bronze Mannikins have been here throughout the summer.

      Liked by 1 person

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