1019. Munia atricapilla atricapilla

(1019) Mania atricapilla atricapilla Vieill.
THE MALAY CHESTNUT-BELLIED MUNIA.
Munia atricapilla atricapilla, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. iii, p. 80.
Following my distribution given in the ‘ Fauna,’ this Munia is found over the whole of Burma and Siam roughly South from about the latitude of Rangoon on the West and Samkok on the East ; the Malay States to Singapore.
Birds North of this area are somewhat intermediate until one comes to the Arrakan Yomas, Chin, Kachin and Bhamo Hills, where one gets quite definitely the big, black-bellied bird.
This little Munia generally breeds in long grass or reeds in moist ground round villages or in the long grass growing on the banks between rice cultivation. It, however, by no means restricts itself to reeds and grass, and will often make its nest in bushes, palms and small trees and, like many other Munias and Bayas, it seems to prefer those well armed with thorns. In Siam Herbert says that ho took one nest built in the very prickly Ribbon-leafed Water-palm ; in Tenasserim Macdonald took the nest in thorn bushes, as did Hopwood near Mergui. I have no records of its breeding in jungle, as does the Northern race.
The nest is a very large ball of rather loosely woven grass or strips of blades, gathered green, and lined with finer stems or strips of dried grass. The entrance varies a good deal. Davison speaks of one nest taken by him near Mergui as being about 7 inches in diameter and having an entrance inches wide. Other nests have a much smaller entrance, and in few is it built of the flowering ends of grasses which stick out in all directions, and which are so often made use of by other Munias.
Sometimes the nests measure as much as 8 inches and seldom as little as 6 inches in diameter, while in shape they are fairly true spheres, not ovals.
They may be placed at any height between two and fifteen feet, but most will be found between three and five feet from the ground.
The two principal months for breeding are June and July, but nests with eggs may be taken as late as September. In Tenasserim Mackenzie, Hopwood and Macdonald took all their nests with fresh eggs between the 21st June and the end of July.
The eggs are, as usual, white, smooth and fragile-shelled, without gloss.
Since the ‘Fauna’ was written I have been able to measure the eggs taken by Mackenzie and others in Tenasserim and, on the other hand, have eliminated eggs sent from the Southern Shan States, which are those of birds nearer rubronigra.
Sixty eggs average 15.7 x 10.9 mm. : maxima 17.8 x 12.0 mm. ; minima 14.2 x 10.5 and 15.0 x 10.3 mm.

BookTitle: 
The Nidification Of Birds Of The Indian Empire
Reference: 
Baker, Edward Charles Stuart. The nidification of birds of the Indian Empire. Vol. 3. 1934.
Title in Book: 
1019. Munia atricapilla atricapilla
Spp Author: 
Vieill.
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
CatNo: 
1019
Year: 
1934
Page No: 
15
Common name: 
Malax Chestnut Bellied Munia
M_ID: 
30160
M_SN: 
Lonchura atricapilla atricapilla
Volume: 
Vol. 3
id: 
14114

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