Bronze Mannikin (Spermestes cucullata)

Bronze Mannikin


The bronze mannikin or bronze munia (Spermestes cucullata) is a small passerine (i.e. perching) bird of the Afrotropics. This very social estrildid finch is an uncommon to locally abundant bird in much of Africa south of the Sahara Desert, where it is resident, nomadic or irruptive in mesic savanna or forest margin habitats. It has an estimated global extent of occurrence of 8,100,000 km2. It is the smallest and most widespread of four munia species on the African mainland, the other being black-and-white, red-backed and magpie mannikin. It co-occurs with the Madagascar mannikin on the Comoro Islands, and was introduced to Puerto Rico. Especially in the West Africa, it is considered a pest in grain and rice fields. It is locally trapped for the pet bird trade. .mw-parser-output .infobox-subbox{padding:0;border:none;margin:-3px;width:auto;min-width:100_;font-size:100_;clear:none;float:none;background-color:transparent}.mw-parser-output .infobox-3cols-child{margin:auto}

Distribution And Habitat

The Bronze Mannikin is a species widespread in Africa (Oberle 2018) and a common resident in Puerto Rico, where it was likely introduced during the early colonial era (Raffaele and others 1998). In Puerto Rico, this species commonly occurs in lowland gardens, weedy lots (Oberle 2018), fields, lawns, and almost all habitats where grass seeds are available (Raffaele and others 1998). It has also been reported for Culebra (Ventosa- Febles and others 2005) and Vieques islands (Gemmill 2015). It is generally seen at elevations lower than 300 m (Oberle 2018), but it has been seen above 450 m (Biaggi 1997). The atlas fieldwork yielded a total of 331 records within 213 hexagons or 44 percent of the 479 total hexagons (see map). Of the 213 hexagons where this species was found, breeding met the atlas definition of confirmed in 25 percent (54) of the hexagons, probable in 39 percent (84), and possible in 35 percent (74), while the species was observed in an additional hexagon (<1 percent) but without evidence of breeding (see map). Bronze Mannikin distribution. The map shows the highest breeding code by hexagon and overlaying the ecological life zones in Puerto Rico. Note: percentages may not total 100 due to rounding. 243Bronze Mannikin/Diablito

Bronze Mannikin Distribution

Breeding Habits

Previously published reports indicate that Bronze Mannikin breeding extends from March to October (Raffaele and others 1998). The nests are round- shaped structures made of hay and dried grass (Biaggi 1997). Atlas results show that this species breeds throughout the year with the most breeding activity during May and June. (see chart). Breeding peaks in June, and the breeding activity mostly takes place within the subtropical moist forest life zone. Results show that this species mostly breeds in lowlands within the subtropical moist forest life zone (74 percent of the hexagons) (see table). However, results also indicate that this species breeds in the subtropical dry (17 percent of the hexagons) and subtropical wet forest (9 percent of the hexagons) life zones as well (see table and map).


The global population size for the Bronze Mannikin has not been quantified or assessed, but the species is described as common and widespread (Clement 1999). This species is currently listed as a species of least concern by the IUCN (BirdLife International 2016). Locally, this species is not listed in any of the threatened categories of PRDNER and USFWS. In Puerto Rico, the Bronze Mannikin has a protected habitat in land of 10 percent or 512 km2 of the total area covered by the hexagons where evidence of breeding was found for this species (5069 km2).