Family Waxbills (Estrildidae)

Least Concern

Black-faced Munia (Lonchura molucca)


French: Capucin jacobin German: Wellenbauch-Bronzemännchen Spanish: Capuchino carinegro

Loxia molucca


, 1766,



Proposed race vagans (described from Tukangbesi Is) is treated as a synonym of nominate. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • L. m. molucca (Linnaeus, 1766) – Talaud Is, Sangihe, Siau, Ruang, Sulawesi and associated islands and archipelagos (S to Kalao, Kalaotoa and Tukangbesi), Sula Is, and Moluccas from Morotai and Halmahera S to Buru, Seram, Tayandu Is and Kai Is.
  • L. m. propinqua (Sharpe, 1890) – Kangean Is (off NE Java), Lembongan and Nusa Penida (both off S Bali), and Lesser Sundas (Lombok, Sumbawa, Komodo, Sumba, Flores, Paloe, Besar, Solor, Adonara, Lembata, Pantar, Alor, Wetar and Timor E to Tanimbar Is).
  • Descriptive notes

    10–11 cm; 12 g. Male nominate race has head to breast black, nape to back and upperwing-coverts brown, upper mantle with indistinct barring, rump white with wavy fine... read more


    Call a buzzy "tissip" or "t'sip"; song a run of wheezing "peep"... read more


    Grassy and bushy areas, rice paddies, cotton grass (Imperatum arundinacea), and cultivated... read more

    Food and feeding

    Seeds of grasses and herbs; possibly also some small insects. Feeds both while perched on stem and while on the ground. Usually singly, in... read more


    Breeds at end of rainy season and beginning of dry season, Jul–Sept and Jan, in Sulawesi; nests in Mar–Jun on Flores; juveniles... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Generally common to fairly common; widespread throughout Wallacea. Very common on Flores and Tanahjampea; appears to be uncommon in far N of range (... read more

    Recommended citation

    Payne, R. (2019). Black-faced Munia (Lonchura molucca). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 21 May 2019).