2 Days with White-capped Munia in Jogja

Get good weather at the beginning of December 2018 which is already in the middle of the rainy season, located in Yogyakarta or simply Jogja for a 2 days birding trip. The location is in the Banaran village, Galur sub-district, Kulonprogo regency, Yogyakarta close to Trisik beach and the Progo River estuary.

I visited paddy-fields that are very large which are dominated by rice plants with a planting age of around 10-50 days on December 1st 2018. There is one bird species I look for, indeed endemic to Java and Bali islands.

Head-shot White capped Munia among young rice plants

It’s small sized passerines (11–12 cm ) with short bill, short rounded wings. Forehead to the nape and face are whitish. Upperparts chestnut, edges of uppertail-coverts and central rectrices reddish to reddish-yellow. Iris dark brown, eyering dark grey; bill light grey; legs grey.

Glimpses like White-headed Munia with the most distinguishing are chin to breast black, flanks broadly rufous extending across lower breast to form rufous band, belly to undertail-coverts black; more rarely, entire underside from chin to vent (including flanks) black.

This species is White-capped Munia (Lonchura ferruginosa), that can only be found in grasslands, wetlands with grasses, reeds and sedges (Cyperaceae), rice fields of Java and Bali islands.

Adult White-capped Munia (Lonchura ferruginosa)

I had a chance to chat with the local farmers, evidently they could distinguish the kind sof Munias around the rice fields of Banaran village. In this area, the birds are easier to see in the rice planted season. It will be more often after rice grains first appeared, about 25 days of planting.

“The birds like starch in young rice grains and grass seeds around the paddy-field. After the harvest season, this bird will disappear and return during the next rice planting season” Said local farmers.

Foraging groups White-capped Munia

On the second day I was still watching this bird, lucky to find that one was carrying a stem of grass that seemed to be used to make a nest. Follow the bird until it disappears in the dense vegetation next to the paddy-field area.

The rice fields in Banaran provide foraging and nesting locations for this species, hopefully it will be sustainable so that many generations can see this endemic.

White-capped Munia carrying stems grass

To see birding in detail around Jogja, please follow this link below or click on the related post on the side bar.