Bronze Mannikin (Spermestes cucullatus)

The Bronze Mannikin is a tiny, 3.5" (9cm) bird, with blackish dark-brown head and breast. The back is a lighter brown, with barred white & brown flanks. Its underneath is white. The short, stout bill is a two-tone blue-grey. Western birds feature a dark green glossy patch on the shoulders (if seen in good light). The Bronze Mannikin is of the Waxbill family.

Bronze Mannikins are generally seen in pairs, or small flocks, feeding at woodland edges or gardens. They are quite acrobatic and can hang upside down on grass stems while feeding.

The Bronze Mannikin is a granivorous (seed eating) bird and will feed from both the source and the ground.

The Bronze Mannikin is found in the west of Kenya, from Lake Victoria, east to the Great Rift and south to Tsavo. Also seen on the coast and Pemba Island, but these birds (Spermestes scutata) do not feature the glossy shoulder patch.

Extra Facts
The Bronze Mannikin is most frequently heard in the air, with its buzzing "pee-po" call. Mannikins build untidy, dome-shaped nests and lay up to 6 eggs - added to by parasitic Indigobirds and Whydahs. Unlike Cuckoos, who lay eggs in others nests and the young Cuckoos evict the host's brood, Indigobirds and Whydahs grow up with the Mannikin's brood and imitate them.

Photographed in Kenya's Nairobi National Park.

Categories & Keywords
Subcategory Detail:
Keywords:bird, bronze mannikin, kenya, mannikin, waxbill, wildlife

Bronze Mannikin ~ Perched

Bronze Mannikin, perched on blades of grass, holding an ear of grass seeds in its claw.

Bronze Mannikin ~ Portrait

Portrait image of a Bronze Mannikin, perched vertically on stems of grass.

Bronze Mannikin ~ Eating

Bronze Mannikin, eating grass seeds in Kenya's Nairobi National Park.