Molecular phylogeny indicates that this species may have originated in India and dispersed to Africa and Pacific Ocean habitats from there.
Both sexes are similar. Immature birds have brown upperparts and pale brown underparts, and a plain head. Very young birds have a black beak with a pink base.
Normal Gray Java (male) Pied Java (male) Not white since it has some gray markings.
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In the Caribbean, the Java sparrow was introduced to Puerto Rico where it is fairly common near San Juan. It has also been sighted in Jamaica, but is not known to occur on any of the other islands. It was also introduced to Christmas Island, off the coast of Western Australia.
The Java sparrow is about 15–17 cm in length from the beak to its tip of tail feathers. The adult is unmistakable, with its grey upperparts and breast, pink belly, white-cheeked black head, red eye-ring, pink feet and thick red bill.
Java Finches are small birds, averaging only 5 to 6 inches in length from the beak to the tips of the tail feathers. Because of their small size, they have become very popular pet birds with those who have limited space in which to house a larger bird species.
This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.
The Java sparrow was introduced in the Indian subcontinent, but it failed to become a successful resident on the Indian mainland. In the United States there are breeding populations on several of the Hawaiian Islands, especially Oahu.
Taxonomic source(s)Christidis, L.; Boles, W. E. 2008. Systematics and taxonomy of Australian birds. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, Australia.SACC. 2006. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #http://www.museum.lsu.edu/~Remsen/SACCBaseline.html#.
Text account compilersBenstead, P., Gilroy, J., Khwaja, N., Taylor, J.
Although these birds became famous for eating rice in the wild, captive Java Finches prefer to eat a good, high quality seed mix. Many Java Finch owners report success feeding them seed mixes that are formulated for parakeets. For balanced nutrition, their diet should be supplemented with items such as nuts, grain, and finely chopped fresh bird-safe fruits and vegetables.
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The Java sparrow is a very gregarious bird which feeds mainly on grain and other seeds. It frequents open grassland and cultivation, and was formerly a pest in rice fields, hence its scientific name. The nest is constructed in a tree or building, and up to eight eggs are laid.
Identification14-15 cm. Contrastingly patterned, open-country finch. Pearl-grey, becoming pinkish on belly and whitish towards vent, with a black head and conspicuous white cheeks. Black rump and tail. Massive pink bill. Voice Song begins with bell-like single notes, accelerating into a continuous trilling and clucking interspersed with high-pitched and deeper notes, sometimes ending with a drawn-out whistle. Also short, hard tup, chirrups and trills.
In addition to the Gray (wild) form, there is a Fawn, pied(see below) and white mutation of the Java available in the US. In Europe, there are dilute or silver varieties available as well. There is also an Agate form being established in many areas Again, due to the restrictions on imports, these cannot be brought into the US., however these forms are finding their way to US breeders.
Brazil, M. 2009. Birds of East Asia: eastern China, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, eastern Russia. Christopher Helm, London.
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The Java sparrow is considered to be a serious agricultural pest of rice. Due to ongoing habitat loss and hunting in some areas, the Java sparrow is now uncommon in its native range. It is evaluated as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and is listed on Appendix II of CITES.
ReferencesBirdLife International. 2001. Threatened birds of Asia: the BirdLife International Red Data Book. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K.
JustificationThe popularity of this finch as a cage-bird has resulted in intense trapping activity, which is inferred to be causing rapid declines in the population. Unless stringent regulations are enforced, these declines are likely to continue, and as such it is listed as Vulnerable.
Java Finches are social little birds, but are far too timid for direct human interaction. Instead, they thrive in pairs or small flocks kept within a flight cage. If you are thinking of adopting a Java Finch, then you may as well prepare yourself to take in at least two or even three. These birds cannot be kept singly and will become very depressed without another finch to keep them company!
A better way to sex Javas is with a couple of visual clues. These differences are better seen in a large group of birds rather than looking at one pair. On a male in breeding condition, the culmen (the top of the beak, especially where it meets the head) has an apparent swelling. A definite ridge will form and the color will turn a deeper red on the males. It is said that the eye ring turns a richer red as well, but I find the beak easier to see.
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They'll breed just about anytime the weather is suitable. They'll avoid the hottest summer months and cold winter months if kept outside. Kept indoors under controlled conditions, they'll breed year-round. As with most birds, you're better off to hold that production to a few clutches per season, otherwise the Javas will just keep on going if you let them.
The Java sparrow (Lonchura oryzivora), also known as Java finch, Java rice sparrow or Java rice bird, is a small passerine bird. This estrildid finch is a resident breeding bird in Java, Bali and Bawean in Indonesia. It is a popular cage bird, and has been introduced in a large number of other countries. Some taxonomists place this and the Timor sparrow in their own genus Padda.
Common Names Java Rice Bird, Java Temple Bird, Paddy Bird
The call is a chip, and the song is a rapid series of call notes chipchipchipchipchipchip.
Java Finches, like all finch species, are extremely active little birds who seem to have endless amounts of energy. Because of this, and because they do not tolerate human handling, they must be provided with a tall flight cage so that they have room to fly, play, climb, jump, and exercise. These birds make ideal pets for people who don't have enough time to bond and interact with a parrot or other bird, because no out of cage playtime is required for them.
July 10, 2011, The 5th anniversary of the Bali Starling conservation project on Nusa Penida released 100 Java Sparrows (Padda oryzivora). Attendees at the event included: national and international press and TV media; leaders and members from all 41 Nusa Penida villages; Indonesian government officials; the Director of Humane Society International (Australia); and many Balinese and overseas visitors
Synonym(s)Lonchura oryzivora SACC (2005), Lonchura oryzivora Dowsett and Forbes-Watson (1993), Lonchura oryzivora Christidis and Boles (2008), Lonchura oryzivora Christidis and Boles (1994)
Be sure to check the regulations in your area. The Java Sparrow is restricted in many parts of the US due to the fear that they may establish themselves in an agricultural area.
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When properly cared for in captivity, Java Finches have been known to live for up to 10 years on average. Of course, some individuals have been reported to have lived even longer, a few into their late teens!
Recommended citation BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Padda oryzivora. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 02/11/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 02/11/2016.
Muchtar, M.; Nurwatha, P. F. 2001. Gelatik Jawa dan Jalak Putih: status dan upaya konservasi di Jawa dan Bali [Java Sparrow & Black-winged Starling: status and conservation effort in Java and Bali].
Further web sources of informationDetailed species accounts from the Threatened birds of Asia: the BirdLife International Red Data Book (BirdLife International 2001).