Indian Silverbill (Euodice malabarica)

The Indian Silverbill or White-throated Munia is a common resident breeding bird in the drier regions of the Indian subcontinent. They forage in small flocks in grassland and scrub habitats. Although mainly found on the plains, they can be found up to about 1200 m in some sub-Himalayan regions. They are largely resident, though some populations make seasonal movements to nearby areas.

The Indian Silverbills are sociable birds and are found in flocks of as many as 60 birds. They feed on the ground or on low shrubs and grass stalks. They constantly utter a low cheeping or chirping contact call as they forage and feed on a variety of grass and crop species. They visit water and drink with a rapid sip and swallow action.

The breeding season is spread out and varies with region. They nest in winter in southern India and after summer in northern India. They nest, an untidy ball of grasses with an opening on the side, is placed in low shrubs, often on thorny Acacia and are known to make use of the old nests of Baya Weavers; sometimes even visiting those that are occupied by the weaver birds.

I photographed this pair on the outskirts of Pollachi, Tamilnadu, late one evening.

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