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Species Guide

Magpie Mannikin

Spermestes fringilloides

The Magpie Mannikin, also known as the Magpie Munia, is a charming species of estrildid finch. It is a small bird with a distinctive appearance, characterized by its sparrow-like size and the striking contrast of its black and white plumage.

Identification Tips

When attempting to identify the Magpie Mannikin, look for its black face, throat, and upper breast, which are sharply contrasted by its white belly. The upper parts of the bird are predominantly black with white speckles, giving it a magpie-like appearance, hence its name.


This species is known to inhabit subtropical and tropical environments, particularly favoring moist shrubland, forests, and dry grasslands. It thrives in lowland areas where the climate is warm and the vegetation is dense enough to provide shelter and foraging opportunities.


The Magpie Mannikin has a sparsely scattered presence across Sub-Saharan Africa. It enjoys a wide range, with an estimated global extent of occurrence of approximately 1,400,000 km².

Conservation status

The Magpie Mannikin is currently evaluated as Least Concern by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. This suggests that, at present, the species does not face any immediate threats to its survival and maintains a stable population across its range.

Magpie Mannikin Sounds

Recorded by: © 
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Magpie Mannikins on Birda


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A photo of a Plum-headed Finch (Aidemosyne modesta) , male

Plum-headed Finch

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