1035. Stietospiza formosa

(1035) Stictospiza formosa (Lath.).
THE GREEN MUNIA.
Stictospiza formosa, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. iii, p. 94.
The Green Munia is found in Central India, West to Mount Abu, East to Palaman and Lohardaga, North to Jhansi and South to Chanda and Aheri.
This pretty little Munia, though fairly common in some parts of Central India, is not so confiding a bird as many other Munias and, though it haunts cultivation, it keeps away from the imme¬diate vicinity of houses and villages. The consequence is that it has excaped observation, very little being recorded about its nidification except by Blewitt. Barnes obtained neats and eggs at Saugur agreeing in all respects with those taken by Blewitt, who writes as follows:—“When at Saugur, in the month of May, in a sugar-cane field, a favourite resort of this Waxbill, my men discovered two nests built on, and firmly attached to, the stalk ends of two or three of the upper leaves. They were somewhat oblong in shape and very neatly and compactly made. The interior lining was of fine grass, the exterior of coarse grass and long strips of only sugar-cane leaves, well interwoven with the coarse grass. The men told me the birds had deserted the nests.
“Two years ago, in January, my men shot a young bird which had just left the nest.”
Later on Blewitt adds :—
“In a sugar-cane about two acres in extent, on the banks of a broad hill torrent, I found four unfinished and three complete neats, each containing five eggs, of S. formosa.
“The nests one and all were some five feet from the ground, in the upper portion of the sugar-cane, the stalk forming a side support, opposite the entrance. The framework of the nest is first strongly and neatly secured by lacings of coarse grass between two of the cane-leaves, one above and the other below ; but as the building proceeds, three, if not four, additional leaves are caught on to the sides of the nest, and firmly interlaced into the exterior material. When finished, the neats are large globular structures, made exteriorly of coarse grass and strips of the cane-leaf itself, the inner cavity being thickly lined with very fine grass, all some¬what compactly put together.
“The entrance-hole, which is prolonged into a short neck, is invariably in the centre, opposite the side supported by the cane-stalk, and is well concealed by projecting grass-fibres.
“Five is apparently the normal number of the eggs, and both sexes are equally employed in building the nest and incubating the eggs. One male was shot busily at work at the short neck of the nest, the female the while sitting on the eggs. Evidently a new nest is prepared each successive season, and I think they always breed in society, several nests being found in close proximity.”
Sixteen eggs average 17.21 x 11.9 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: 
1035. Stietospiza formosa
Spp Author: 
Lath.
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
CatNo: 
1035
Year: 
1934
Page No: 
30
Common name: 
Green Munia
M_ID: 
30164
M_SN: 
Lonchura atricapilla formosana
Volume: 
Vol. 3
id: 
14131

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