Bronze Mannikin

Our first garden bird of the month will be Bronze Mannikin as i have just found one in my garden for the first time.

They are small brownish birds that often are in flocks of up to 30 birds. The adults have black heads and a bronze-green shoulder patch with white bellies that are slightly barred on the flanks.

Bronze Mannikin

They are generally very skittish and will take flight as a group to the nearest shrub, returning one by one, once they feel it is safe to do so.

Nests are dome shaped with a side entrance and built in  shrubs or occasionally in old palm leaves. The nest is constructed from grass.

Four to six eggs are laid, and they have an incubation period of about 15 days. The chicks fledge after about 20 days.

The are attracted to gardens with seed, either naturally in growing grass or on feeding tables. The ones visiting my garden have been attracted by a patch of wild grass that I planted at the beginning of spring.

Their distribution area is the eastern side of South Africa, along the coast from Port Elizabeth to northern KZN, the eastern Freestate, Gauteng, Mpumalanga and Limpopo

11 thoughts on “Bronze Mannikin”

    1. Riaan, I’m not 100% sure, as I don’t think there has been any real research done. I know of a Cape Robin-chat that has been recorded to live over 20 years already. Records of captive Mannikins indicate a life span of 5-12 years, so a wild bird probably is around 5-8 years.

  1. Range may extend to Cape Town as a bronze mannikin is a regular in our garden in Wynberg. Identified in early October 2018.

      1. is that Kenilwoth in Joburg or Cape Town, In Joburg they would be regular garden birds. Cape town they are quite out of range, but I have reports of them there before

  2. We have just had a group of Bronze manikins visit our garden in Claremont Cape Town this month February 2019. they are regular visitors at the bird bath and seed table.
    How long have they been in Cape Town as Roberts puts them in the Eastern Cape.

  3. Hi, I have just been to Kirstenbosch botanical gardens today and did some birding as this is my first time birding in Cape Town ( I am from Bronkhorstspruit Gauteng). On my way out I found of group of 5 Bronze Mannikins on the lawn patch just as you enter the gardens. See in my book this is very far out of range. Has anybody else seen them in the gardens?

    1. I have heard of other people also seeing them around Cape Town. As far as I know the consensus is that they are from escaped cage birds

  4. We have gazillions in the east of Pretoria, Gauteng. Recently they even started entering our aviary through tiny openings where they flutter hyperactively around our Australian Laughing Doves & Chinese Painted Quails. They can’t seem to exit through the same openings, so we catch them and let them out every so often. It was nice to discover they sing a tune – something we have not heard until they trapped themselves in our aviary

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