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.
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