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White-headed Munia Lonchura maja   - Feeding behaviour
White-headed Munia
Photographer : © Amar-Singh HSS
Location :Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Date : 26 May 2017
English synonyms:Pale-headed Mannikin, Pale-headed Munia, White headed Munia, White-headed Mannikin
Bird Family :Estrildidae - Estrildine Finches - Avadavats, Parrotfinches, Silverbill, Munias, Waxbills
Bird Group :PASSERIFORMES
Red Data Status :Least Concern
Remarks :I came across 7 White-headed Munia feeding on cow dung. The dung patches was mostly dry and crusted on a gravel road, and they were pulling pieces out of it. I have seen other birds explore cow dung but not Munia. Initially my opinion was that they were looking for seeds in the dung. Harrison (1999) in ‘A Field Guide to the Birds of Sri Lanka’ does mention of some species of Munia that “feeds on seeds, even picking through dung”. But later in the morning at another site, I met up with another 3 White-headed Munia this time exploring dog dung. I doubt dog seat grass seeds. I have now considered other possibilities. At both sites there was an abundance of seeds all around in the environment. I have previous reported Scaly-breasted Munia feeding on green alga (Spyogyra) as a source of protein to enable them to become physiologically ready for breeding. I wonder of the White-headed Munia are feeding on something in the dung that aids with breeding?
-Amar
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