Munias and Mannikins (Hardcover)

By Robin Restall

Yale University Press, 9780300071092, 264pp.

Publication Date: January 31, 1997

List Price: 80.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


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.

About the Author

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.