Mayang Pula | Mayang Bongol
The National Museum of Bohol feature’s the Mayang Pula (Chestnut Munia – Lochura atricapilla).
The Maya is also called Black Headed Munia because of the black plumage on its head and neck which starkly contrasts its silvery-blue beak.
Adults of this species sport a reddish brown body and wings with a red patch on its lower back. It is native to the Philippines where it is called Mayang Pula (red maya) and Mayang Bongol (deaf maya).
Until 1995, this little passerine was recognized as the Philippines’ National Bird, although the distinction was widely misdirected to the Mayang Simbahan or the Eurasian Tree Sparrow which is an introduced species.
Unlike the mayang simbahan which abound in urban areas, chestnut munias are usually seen in wide open spaces such as lawns, grassy fields, marshes and rice paddies. They can be seen in flocks, feeding on the seeds of “amorseko” (Golden Beardgrass) and rice grains.
The myth that this little bird is deaf may be due to some observations that it is easily caught when away from the flock. This flocking behavior give them protection from predation, offering safety in numbers.
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