The Chestnut-breasted Mannikin (Lonchura castaneothorax), also known as the Chestnut-breasted Munia, are a species found in Australia, Papua New Guinea, New Caledonia and Indonesia. There are six sub-species with several forms. Lonchura castaneothorax are occur in eastern Australia.

A small brown-backed munia, they have a dark face brown to black face with a broad orange-brown chest that is separated from the white-cream belly by a distinct black band. Males and females are nearly identical in appearance. The males sing and do a courtship dance. The young birds are plain light coloured brown and often in the presence of the adults.

In Australia, the Chestnut-breasted Mannikin frequents very long grass. They are known as a bird of reed beds and rank grasses (grass that is badly overgrown, tussocky), found bordering rivers, wetlands, swamps regions, mangroves and grassy country across northern and eastern Australia. They have been sighted in arid country, but always near water.

They can often detected by their distinctive bell-like “tink” call. They have quite a melodious song, with the males quite easy to spot when they sing.

Common name
Chestnut Finch, Barley Bird, Chestnut-Breasted Munia.


  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Estrildidae
  • Genus: Lonchura
  • Species: L. castaneothorax
  • Binomial name: Lonchura castaneothorax
  • Subspecies:
    • L. c. castaneothorax
    • L. c. assimilis
    • L. c. ramsayi
    • L. c. boschmai
    • L. c. sharpii
    • L. c. uropygialis