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Tricolored Munia Lonchura malacca


Also known as the Chestnut Mannikin or Black-headed Munia, this species is a native of southern Asia, as well as parts of Indonesia and the Philippines. It has become naturalised in various parts of the world, including southern Europe and several Pacific islands. The plumage is principally chestnut-brown with a black head and throat, and separate black belly patch; some races have the rest of the underparts white. The Tricolored Munia has been widely introduced into the Greater Antilles, where it appears to be established, at least locally, and has perhaps sometimes spread naturally, on Cuba, Jamaica, Hispaniola, and Puerto Rico, with another population on Martinique, in the Lesser Antilles. Most of those birds on Puerto Rico apparently belong to the nominate subspecies, which has white on the underparts (and is sometimes classified as a separate species), but chestnut-bellied Lonchura malacca atricapilla has also been recorded. The Tricolored Munia also appears to have become established in the Cauca and Magdalena Valleys of Colombia, where it inhabits rice fields up to 2000 m, as well as on Trinidad (since 2007) and in Chiapas (Mexico), and perhaps also Ecuador and Venezuela.

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© Doug Pratt

  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding

Recommended Citation

Tricolored Munia (Lonchura malacca), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: