Scaly-breasted Munia Juvenile, (c) Photo by Steve Kaye

This Small Bird Has Too Many Names

This Small Bird Has Too Many Names

Scaly-breasted Munia Juvenile, (c) Photo by Steve Kaye, in blog This Small Bird Has Too Many Names

Scaly-breasted Munia Juvenile

If you need something new to worry about, here’s a problem few have considered: This small bird has too many names.

Officially, it’s a Scaly-breasted Munia.

Or, it’s a Spotted Munia (in some sources).

Before its recent name change, it was a Nutmeg Mannikin. But in pet stores it was sold as a Spice Finch.

If you’re a ornithologist, you would know this bird as being Lonchura punctuate (or L. punctuate).

Then, if you own one as a pet, you would call it by the name you gave it. That could include more possibilities than all the sounds made by humans.

Meanwhile, this bird is too busy being a bird to bother with such matters.

I suppose this is one of the advantages of having a small brain. There’s no room for nonsense.

By the way, the bird in the above photo is a juvenile. When it matures, it will look like this.

Scaly-breasted Munia, Adult, (c) Photo by Steve Kaye, in blog post This Small Bird Has Too Many Names

Scaly-breasted Munia, Adult

Much success,

Steve Kaye

Birding Resources

These photos were taken at the Fullerton Arboretum.

See more photos of birds at the Fullerton Arboretum: Fullerton Arboretum Birds


Preserving Nature, one bird at a time.

You can help – Please share this blog with others.

  • Lin Jenkinson
    Posted at 11:37h, 16 February

    I am a new birder and just have a ‘flighty’ interest that is growing- ha! thanks for this and I love this bird but a bird by any other name would still be Spotted Munia or a Spice Finch- the absolute best one. Thanks

  • Kathryn Grace
    Posted at 16:49h, 16 February

    What a gorgeous bird! I don’t recall ever seeing one of those, by whatever name it might be called. But now I’m curious. Why so many names? And why so different?

  • Penny Schafer
    Posted at 17:30h, 18 February

    Just beautiful, both the fluffy baby and the adult. Great job as always Steve!

  • Russ
    Posted at 18:13h, 18 February

    This bird is like us Steve, a bit flashy when young, but utterly spectacular when fully grown. Thanks for keeping me in the loop, I’m sure we’ll meet again soon.

  • Thilda Zorn
    Posted at 19:18h, 18 February

    Steve, I can’t tell you the name of the tiny bird (not a humming….) which flew against my window and than rested gently in my hand, until I finally put it into a swinging flowerpot in my garden. What a wonder, our life and the life of all creatures around us. Thank you for teaching us, Steve!
    When I came to Guatemala almost 30 years ago I was always shocked seeing killed snakes on the path, that at least doesn’t happen anymore. Teaching respect for all creatures also is my goal.
    Thilda, Casa Milagro

  • Bob Franz
    Posted at 07:07h, 19 February

    Hi Steve,

    A few years ago when I was monitoring Craig Park, I was told that this bird could be seen at the extreme south end of the park south of the overflow parking lot. I looked there a few times but could not spot it. Bob

Post A Comment