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

This Small Bird Has Too Many Names | Feb 2016

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. At least that’s the name it has now until something changes.

Or, it’s a Spotted Munia (according to 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, such as “Brownie,” or “Cutie Pie,” or “Little Tweet.” Certainly, this list could go to 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

Then we might call it, “Pretty Bird.”

Much success,

Steve Kaye

The names given birds changes occasionally. Find out what the birds think about this at:

This Really Made the Birds Mad

Find More at:

The Ruby-crowned Kinglet – Small Bird, Big Name

Business Innovation by Birds

Birds Strike!

Did You Know?

The most effective way to help birds is to buy land.

Here are three organizations that excel at doing this.

1) American Bird Conservancy

2) The Nature Conservancy

3) The Trust for Public Land

Please visit their web sites to learn about the work they do.

Here’s an excellent book: The American Bird Conservancy Guide to Bird Conservation

You can help – Please share this blog with others.
Inspiring Respect for Nature, one bird at a time.

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  • 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

  • Suzanne Schmidt
    Posted at 10:39h, 25 April

    I live in Tampa FL and have had a growing flock of these scaly breasted munia in my yard/neighborhood since October. Could not find them in any of our bird books, since, they are not native, of course! (google “pet shop birds” and there you were) They are beautiful, energetic, hungry birds with a pretty song. They stick together, growing in numbers. I wish I knew where they made their nests. Flying off into the oak trees when startled. They made it through the coldest weather we had just fine. I put out another feeder just to see how many would come all at once, and that’s about 30 right now.

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