The nesting period of the Spotted Munia is from July to November, a period with frequent rains. Built of grass, nests (n = 60) were spherical or dome-shaped, with a lateral entrance-hole oriented mainly along the most frequent wind direction. They were mostly built on twigs within the tree canopy, the majority of them on thorny plant species. The mean depth and diameter of the nests were 12.32 cm and 4.18 cm respectively. Nesting activities were shared by both sexes. Four to six eggs were laid. The incubation period in 17 pairs varied from 10 to 15 days. All the nests (n = 60) were situated on four plant species only, the greatest preference being for Toddalia asiatica (50%), followed by Gymnosporia montana (25%) and Acacia chundra (20%). Although 50% of the nests were found on T. asiatica, this plant is a straggler and no nest was built on it if it was not present in association with G. montana. For constructing nests the Spotted Munia selected short and small trees in a microhabitat with low canopy cover.
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Vol. 36 • No. 1