Red-backed Mannikin ( Spermestes bicolor, family: Estrildidae)
The Red-backed Mannikin (Latin name Spermestes bicolor) is described in Roberts Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition. This bird has a unique Roberts number of 858 and you will find a full description of this bird on page 1068 also a picture of the Red-backed Mannikin on page 1057. The Red-backed Mannikin belongs to the family of birds classified as Estrildidae. According to the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology the Red-backed Mannikin is also known by these other names: Black-and-white Mannikin, Rufous-backed Mannikin, Black-breasted Mannikin, Blue-billed Mannikin.
In the previous edition of Roberts (ie 6th edition) the Red-backed Mannikin was called the
The map of the Kruger you see on this page shows the areas (coloured orange) where this bird has been identified. The basic information was provided by the Avian Demographic Unit based at UCT and I created the maps from that information ... the green dots show the locations of the various Kruger National Park Rest Camps
The Red-backed Mannikin is neither Endemic or near Endemic to the Kruger National Park.
In terms of distribution of the Red-backed Mannikin in the Kruger National Park you may not see it in all areas. Red-backed Mannikin : see above distribution map.
Identification assistance for this avian species ...
One of the first indicators to take note of when trying to identify a bird is it relative size. For example how big is the bird compared to a well known familiar bird. The Red-backed Mannikin is an extremely small bird about half the size of a house sparrow. The height of the Red-backed Mannikin is about 10 cms and its weight is about 9 gms
The male and female Red-backed Mannikin have the same plumage and colours
- Head is black.
- Eye is brown.
- Bill is blue.
- Throat is brown.
- Back is chestnut.
- Legs are black, grey.
This bird has normally proportioned leg length.
Main diet items for this bird ...
The Red-backed Mannikin feeds on the ground mainly
Breeding and nesting habits for this bird ...
The Red-backed Mannikin is monogamous unless its mate dies. In the event of a partner dying Spermestes bicolor will seek out a new mate
The nesting habit of Red-backed Mannikin is to create the nest in branches of a tree or shrub. The bird lays eggs which are white in colour and number between 2 to 7
Habitat and flocking behaviour for this bird ...
The preferred habitats for Red-backed Mannikin are: woodlands
You will normally see the Red-backed Mannikin in pairs or flocks and not as single birds.
Names of this avian species in other languages ...
Xhosa ... Unknown
Zulu ... Unknown
German ... Glanzelsterchen
Portuguese ... Freirinha-de-dorso-vermelho
French ... Capucin dos brun
Dutch ... Glansekstertje
For in-depth birding information please refer to these authoritative avian references ...
Robert's 7th edition number ... 858
The main reference source for this data was "Roberts - Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition" . Other references were "Newmans Birds of the Kruger Park" by Keith Newman published circa 1980 . Names in foreign languages were obtained from the Percy Fitzpatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town website , www.fitzpatrick.uct.ac.za