Sparrow (Java) / Lonchura oryzivora

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The scientific species name ‘oryzivora means ‘rice-eater’

A native of Indonesia, the Java sparrow lives in flocks consisting of hundreds of individuals. They roost communally in tall trees, cultivated palms in towns, or shrubs, reeds or sugarcane in the country.

In its natural range in Java and Bali, the Java sparrow’s diet consists mainly of rice, but also feeds on the small seeds of grasses and flowering plants, and occasionally insects.

In Indonesia the Java sparrow’s breeding season extends from February to August, with a peak in April and May. The nest is a loosely-built structure of dried grass.

It is often constructed under the roofs and eaves of buildings in towns and villages, but in bushes and treetops in rural areas.

Three or four eggs are laid, although larger clutches have been known. The incubation period is around 18 days and the young birds fledge at around 28 days.

The Java sparrow has been a popular captive bird for centuries with a trade which peaked in the 1960s and 1970s, leading to a major drain on the population. It is also persecuted as a raider of crops.

Where they live: originally native to Java and Bali in Indonesia, it has been widely introduced and populations are now established from Asia to Australia, Africa and North America.