Munias and Mannikins

Robin Restall

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Munias and mannikins are one genus in a colorful family of seed-eating songbirds that live in the tropical and subtropical regions of the Old World. The forty-one species of this group, ranging in size from the diminutive Madagascar Mannikin to the chunky Grand Mannikin of New Guinea, typically have short or tapered tails and stout bills. In their natural habitat these are birds of the savanna and grassland, but they have adapted to a number of different habitats, including forests and gardens. Most munias and mannikins are to be found in Asia and Australasia, but six species occur in Africa and some have even colonized various Pacific islands.

This book is the first comprehensive account of these Old World seedeaters. Robin Restall provides a natural history of each species, including field characteristics, status, habitat, morphology, habits and behavior, food and feeding, movements, calls and song, courtship and display, breeding, distribution, a detailed species description, hybrids, and conservation status. Of special significance are Restall's line drawings and paintings: included in the book are 16 color plates of perched birds in field guide style depicting every known plumage; 64 colored measured drawings of individual birds that show plumage variation; and numerous line drawings, most of which show behavior never before illustrated. The book also contains distribution maps and sonograms.

Robin Restall has been studying, illustrating, and writing about birds for over forty years. This book is the result of an intensive seven-year focus involving field work in almost every Asian country, maintenance of a unique collection of live birds, extensive study of museum specimens, and interaction with ornithologists, aviculturists, and traders all over the world.

"The definitive work on munias and mannikins. Restall has done an outstanding job."—Noble Proctor

"This book covers the tropical and subtropical areas, from Africa through a few Pacific Islands, in which the 41 species in the genus comprising munias and mannikins occur. This comprehensive and detailed book is the latest in the growing series of specialty publications covering one family. . . . Invaluable to anyone interested in the group, anyone traveling to an area where munias and mannikins occurs, and those breeding the birds."—Bird Watcher's Digest

"Even though much of the information was gathered in avicultural situations, the book is not merely a guide to keeping and breeding these species, but rather a well-rounded scientific presentation of knowledge available on them. . . . Munnias and Mannikins will be a very useful reference for anyone who bands birds in areas where these birds are feral or who keeps pet birds."—Robert C. Tweit, North American Bird Bander

"This book provides a detailed examination of the biology, taxonomy, and natural history of 41 species of seed-eating passerines (munias or mannikins) from the tropical and subtropical areas of the Old World. . . . Ornithologists and birders with a special interest in these Old World birds will want to read this book. Highly recommended."—Wildlife Activist

"Reading this book will be almost as enjoyable as seeing the birds firsthand, and the volume belongs in the collection of every serious ornithological library."—Erik P. Scully, Science Books & Films

"An excellent addition to the in-depth field identification handbooks."—Charles E. Keller, Indiana Audubon Quarterly

ISBN: 9780300071092
Publication Date: January 31, 1997
Publishing Partner: Published in association with Christopher Helm/A & C Black
264 pages, 6 5/8 x 9 1/2
182 b/w + 82 color illus.
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