Look Who Showed Up at The Holler~

Tiny Scaly Breasted Munias are native to India and Southeast Asia (click/tap to enlarge).

I told you birds,

don’t pay attention,

to where they are ‘supposed’ to be!

They looked as surprised to see me as I was to see them, but we are getting used to each other.

There is a whole flock of them.

It turns out these birds were sold in US pet stores as Nutmeg Mannikins.

Some escaped and have been breeding in Southern California.

I had a dickens of a time identifying them because they are not native.

Cheers to you from the new Holler locals who are fitting in quite nicely with the neighbors~

286 thoughts on “Look Who Showed Up at The Holler~

    1. I agree wholeheartedly with all you say. To top off their beauty, they are incredibly tiny birds, which the photos don’t show. This makes them even more charming แƒ“

      1. We have Sparrows with grey texture bity tiny birds here they are amazing to watch and their unity in flying. Nature brings many pretty creations. The best we can do is to treasure them for tomorrow. Thanks for your time. Have an amazing day with smiles.

  1. Pingback: I think Cindy is related to Mother Nature…how else could she always get the most perfect pictures? These are wonderful. | Rethinking Life

  2. Wow Cindy, what a beautiful find! They are gorgeous, no wonder I haven’t seen them before. I hope they won’t cause any problems for the native birds. As always, your photography is wonderful! ๐Ÿฅฐ

  3. Wonderful skillful photography (like always). Nature has it ways of wiggling things around – and we’re part of that. Interesting origin story – like the parrots of San Francisco. Pretty birds too, without being too flamboyant ๐Ÿ˜€.

  4. Stunning images, as always! And kudos for identifying those birds!! But it would have been so much fun if you’d written they are the newly-discovered Cindybirds ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. Thatโ€™s so great to hear! Locally we have a flock of peacocks. They also started as pets – when the owner died they were released into the wild with the expectation that they wouldnโ€™t survive – a rather cruel thing to do – but 20 years later they are thriving and fitting in just fine!

    1. I was really stumped. I wasn’t looking at birds from India! I finally gave up and sent an query to Cornell, right after I found them myself. I kept changing the query and it finally worked. I was pretty amazed by what I found out, but there was no doubt about the identification because they are quite unique แƒ“

    1. Keep binocs nearby. They are so tiny, you need binocs to spot the pattern on their chests. After you see them close up, you will be able to pick them out without the binoculars. I hope you find some แƒ“

    1. Thank you Maggie. I can’t recall being so seriously stumped before. It was worth the effort though when I finally did find out their fascinating story and origins แƒ“

  5. rockin’ some sick plumage, those handsome little devils

    โœจ๐Ÿฆ‹๐Ÿ๐Ÿ•Š๐Ÿ‰๐Ÿ—โš–๐Ÿ•ฏ๐Ÿคโš›๐ŸŽ๐ŸŽ‹๐Ÿ™โœจ

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  7. Expat birds! They are adorable and like people, they will adapt to their surroundings. I saw a Hoopoe bird in our park the other day. They are native to Africa but do make their way here in Spain as we aren’t that far away. They are adorable little birds.

    1. How wonderful is that! Birds definitely do not read the manuals about where they are supposed to be. I saw Egyptian Geese and Ring Necked Parrots in St. James Park! แƒ“

  8. Comme habituellement, les photos sont trรจs belles, trรจs nettes, trรจs soignรฉes. Je ne commente pas ร  chaque fois, mais je suis vos voyages et vos clichรฉs. Bravo;

  9. What beautiful plummage these birds have. There is a free app called Merlin from Cornell University Dept of Ornithology which has bird recognition from their sounds. I tried it out the other day and it worked very well. You can download different geographic areas including the USA and Europe.

    1. Thanks Kaiti. Merlin was down when I was trying to identify this species. I sent Cornell an email, but as soon as I did this, I was able to ID the species. Ask, and you shall find…. แƒ“

  10. How sad they’re shipped across the globe to be sold as pets… I’ve seen them outside my window here just before the monsoon… I hope they’re all freed and live happily at the holler.

    1. Yes. It is sad and I am happy they have escaped and are thriving here. Don’t worry, I will take care of your birds, and make sure they have food and water all year long. I love them. They are sweet little birds แƒ“

  11. I would like to stop by and thank you for sharing the miracles of the ๐ŸŒŽ!
    Very great collection you have here!
    Should get back to taking pictures myself.
    Well done Cindy!

    1. I love your first sentence Rebecca. There is so much to see and absorb in this world of ours. I so admire the way you notice the ever present beauty and complexity แƒ“

  12. They are lovely birds as are your pictures of them. and it’s a shame they were caged as amusement for folks. Now they are multiplying in a land where they are not native and likely causing trouble for other species. Sorry I am a downer.

    1. Thank you Steve for your sensitivity, knowledge and awareness. The common problematic denominator as you well state is human intervention. Even when we try to do things right environmentally, we tend to screw it up. I have learned so much from environmental biologists all over the world in my travels as they describe the contrary and illogical ‘species management policies’ in their various countries vis a vis invasive species. There are so many examples of us just making bad things worse with our good intentions. Thankfully, fiftenn years after the estimated release of Munia’s in Southern California, there is no evidence they are displacing any other finch species in Southern California แƒ“

  13. While not quite as exotic, we have been having a very busy birding seasonโ€ฆ or maybe itโ€™s just my new hearing aids makes everything much more evident ๐Ÿ˜‰

      1. Just posted the last poem. Eulogy in a couple of days. Enjoy our celebration of freedom (now if we can just he Hydra of Totalitarian leaders in check!) this week.

  14. Wow, I’ve never even heard of these guys before! It almost looks like they’re wearing chain mail. Thanks for introducing them to us, Cindy.

    1. Oh my gosh! I should have used the chain mail as a descriptor in my search to identify them. It may have been the key. It does look exactly like this! แƒ“

  15. Curtis Mekemson

    Wow, that would have been surprising. Pretty little things. Amazing that enough were turned loose/escaped to create flocks. I wonder what the time frame is? I also wonder if they are considered an invasive species?

    1. Yes, apparently the escape happened around 15 years ago. They are not invasive, not displacing other species. They are more adaptive, which is quite remarkable, considering they are tropical birds, and The Holler is a semi-desert. Hope all is well with you and Peggy แƒ“

    1. I tried so many varieties of descriptors to find a species with this chest pattern, to no avail. Finally, in defeat, I typed in checkerboard pattern, which led me to scaly breasted, and this sweet, tiny little expat แƒ“

    1. Thank you very much Leya. They are not invasive. They are more like polite neighbors that get along with everyone, rare concept for us humans ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜‰

  16. How amazing that they landed on your doorstep. Scaly Breasted Munias is quite the name, and they’re a long way from their native home, but seem very at home at the Holler.
    Alison

    1. I get the distinct feeling they like it here, which is amazing, because we are not the least bit tropical, more semi-desert. We did have a very wet year. I need to make sure I keep the water full as summer hits which is delayed so far แƒ“

  17. They are so beautiful. We don’t see them in my place in South India. I read they are in the north and also in some parts of South India. It would be a fascinating study about how birds reach different places in the world. Thank you.

    1. They are such sweet birds. I am very happy to have them here and promise to take good care of your expat birdies. Birds do manage to get around this small world of ours in amazing ways แƒ“

  18. Stunning images, I love nature and youโ€™ve brought a smile on my face this evening. I hope youโ€™ll have a great week ahead, Cindy.โ˜บ๏ธ๐Ÿ™

  19. What interesting birds. I love their rust colored feathers and the pattern on their chests. They look a little like they’re wearing rust -colored suits with a patterned vest!

  20. Certainly beautiful and made you work hard in finding out their identity. Hope they find a niche but the green parakeets, rose ringed, I think from India are not always welcome in UK. They can devastate a fruit orchard.

    1. Yes. There can be problems when non-native species establish colonies in other places. Thankfully in the case of the numia’s, they are fitting in quite nicely. Thanks much for stopping by and hope all is well with you! แƒ“

    1. I don’t know if it was one or more release, but so far, thankfully, they are not displacing any other species, or disrupting the habitat. The Holler is wide open country. I think we have more numia’s here than most places, but then, we have more birds in general who are thriving. No people = happy birds! แƒ“

    1. Thank you. I use a Sony HX400V for bird shots. It has a 1200mm equivalent lens. They aren’t making it anymore though. I bought one of the last remaining in Japan แƒ“

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