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.