Friday, December 2, 2011


I have been a member of the Aussie Finch Forum for the last few months and I find it to be an extremely helpful online community of Finch enthusiasts (Finchos). The Forum is well established and quite large with an excellent variety of topics (its easy to get lost, there is so much good stuff) with plenty of people that hare happy to support and answer questions. There are regular members of the forum with large number of posts one of the Moderators I have noticed has 8000+ posts to their name!!!!. There is even a For Sale and Wanted sign up and have fun!

I was browsing through last night and looking through some of the reviews for Bird Sales that happen across the country and I stumbled upon a picture of a pair of birds that were being sold at the Cessnock Bird sale this year in May. They were Labled as White Bellied Munias and were priced at $30 for the pair (seen below).

In my opinion these look like Chocolate Self Bengalese. From my experience so far I have never heard of the White Bellied Munia being kept in Australian Aviculture. And have never seen any Australian pictures that look like the White Bellied Munia (Right). You can see how much lower the brown breast line comes down when compared to the scolloped breast of the Bengalese. Do not get the name of this finch confused with the White Rumped Munia that is Lonchura striata (Bengalese), the White Bellied Munia is called Lonchura leucogastra.

There is also a chance that the finches from this bird sale were Javan Munias,  however the Javan Munia (Lonchura leucogastroides) is fairly rare finch in Australia and can be priced up to $150pr. You can see that a pure, wild Javan Munia (left) has a significantly defined line separating the  dark brown/black breast and a white/cream underbody.
The Lonchura in the top photo show quite a dirty looking underbody (the picture quality makes it hard to see any Bengalese markings) and a blended line between the brown breast and the underbody which generally affirm the opinion that these are Bengos. Also the Javan Munia is a fairly petite and small finch and the Finches in the top picture look fairly well sized.

The names for some of the Lonchura family in Australia can be used quite loosely sometimes and I have seen Bengalese sold as "Mannikin Finches" and Mutated Javan Munias sold as "Munia Finches"

It all makes for good discussion but I think that there is a high chance that the owner of these Finches in the top picture had knowledge of the Bengalese origins being from the White Rumped Munia and wanted to give these nice looking little guys a little more value by labeling them with their natural undomesticated wild name. It's just that they had gotten the name a little bit wrong...... not that hard to do I think, White Bellied, White Rumped.........tomaeto, tomarto.

In any case if they are Bengos then it good to see some Selfs floating around out there!!

Cheers All!

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