Ident query of a finch.

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Thommo
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Ident query of a finch.

Hi. Just joined today when I found this site searching on finches.

I am no photographer, sorry, but what I have looks like a nutmeg mannikin. It looks a little heavier, with a brown back, scaley breast, white under the tail but with a black "helmet". Definitely a "seed eater" beak.

I'm in Townsville, btw. We put out a little seed in the mornings and the doves clean that up but lately I'm seeing this pair of finches come in after the crush of doves has cleared. We do have a flock of mannikins but they are less marked than these, to my untrained eye.

I hope this is enough to go by and will try to get photo.

Thommo.

Amateur

No other finches with that kind of markings, I would have to assume it is a nutmeg manikin, if you could post a photo it would be of great help.

Tassie

I am not sure mate, the "Black Helmet" does not sound right for a Nutmeg.

Amateur

Yes the helmet doesn't sound right, is there the possibility it's a crossbreed between some types of mannikins? Or could it perhaps be a juvenile type of mannequin?

Thommo
Thommo's picture

Thanks for your efforts Guys. It will take time but I'll try to get my son to take a pic when he's in town next. My "happy snap" camera would not be up to the task. :)

Amateur

My next best guess would be a Pictorella Mannikin? To have a look check out this photo, probably not the smae, but worth a try. http://graemechapman.com.au/catalogue/ausbirds3274/m/659202.jpg

Amateur

Or perhaps a plum headed finch? Rule out the other one as it isn't in your area.

Tassie

Righto I reckon given the area you have seen this finch and the fact that I have seen them there and they are the only one I know of with the "Black Helmet" you describe I will go with the Plum Headed Finch.
These finches are extremely nomadic given that they need to drink at least once an hour.
The Plum Head ranges from the Atherton tablelands QLD right down to the Riverina NSW and Canberra,they can show up in numbers in an area where they have not been seen for many years and disappear just as quickly.

I posted a pic of some Thommo that I took up that way, search for a post titled "Armuna Station" mate and you will see them.
I took this pic with my old camera so its not the best but good enough for an ID.
Let me know what you think.

Amateur

http://www.birdsinbackyards.net/forum/messages.cfm?threadid=1F35723A-BDD9-1D1C-DCBD0509093BA363 JUst the link to Tassie's Armuna Station photos, some good shots, wow, I erally can see the difference in photo quality to your recent pics, was that a digital camera? Came to the same conclusion Tassie, hope it's your bird Thommo.

ed
ed's picture

Hi Thommo

Tassie may have it, sounds like a PHF to me.

Ed Townsville NQ

Tassie

Gidday Amateur,mate the pics were with a digital but not a SLR. Mate thanks for posting the link for Armuna station, I would have but thats to technologically advanced for me,I can drive a truck but posting a link is a bit hard :)

Thommo
Thommo's picture

I have just spent an hour in the library and found some good pics of the nutmeg which confirms my identification of them as being the flock of a dozen or so in our back yard and the vacant block next door. Lovely little birds, always in my birdbath. :^)

In What Bird Is That they listed a black Headed mannikin Lonchura Atricapilla but no pics. Looked it up here http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lonchura_atricapilla_jagori_-Cebu-8-3c.jpg. This is clearly not the bird but it the only finch I have found with a black head so I .


(trying out the HTML. Don't see a "preview" option)

Amateur

I don't understand, so you still don't know what the bird with the "black helmet" is? Or was it a Nutmeg Mannikin? Btw Black Headed Mannikins are extinct in the wild, any stray birds are aviary escapees. Yeah Tassie, that was what I was thinking about the photos, they look like what my photos do, and my camera is definetely not an SLR.

Tassie

I am a bit confused now....

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