Friday, February 11, 2011

Three Lonchuras at my neighbour's backyard

My next door neighbor moved to KL  a number of years ago and he stopped renting out his house recently in preparation for sale. Long grass unattended attracted three members of the seed-eating Lonchuras. I just need to stand at my kitchen door to photograph them.

First is the extremely common Chestnut Munia Lonchura atricapilla. This bird is all over the place, nesting in housing estates' gardens, traffic islands and even in your potted plant.

Than, the attractive feral Java Sparrow Lonchura oryzivora. Originally introduced as pet birds, the escapees are evidently well established as large party numbering more than 50 birds can be seen congregating to feed on suitable locations here.

Later the rarer White-bellied Munia Lonchura leucogastra palawana, this bird is, unlike its Chestnut Munia cousin, very shy and difficult to approach, it will flee at the slightest sign of you approaching.

Interestingly, Borneo has four races of this. Both Phillipps' and Susan Myer's Fieldguides illustrate the L. l. smythiesi found in western Borneo (Sarawak). The race in Sabah is L. l. palawana, similar to L. l. smythiesi but with less chestnut on the flanks. Also note that only the belly is white, not the vent.

And this is a shot of three of them together, Java Sparrow on top, White-bellied Munia at the bottom.

Happy birding.


jytou said...

wow.... amazing, you have White-bellied in your neighborhood, mine in West Malaysia only had the Scaly-breasted Munia as the commonest species, and White-headed a little less common but could be commonly met at suitable environment, Black-headed is VERY VERY RARE around my house, likely due to hunting pressure, Java Sparrow is local and not abundant but get to see them once a while.

Wong Tsu Shi said...

Thanks, jytou. Scaly-breasted and White-headed are super rare here, I have not seen one in Tawau yet.

Hawkeyes a.k.a Kiah said...

Nice shots of the rare birds.