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Java Sparrow

About Java Sparrow

A plump, sparrow-sized bird with a massive conical bill; head boldly marked with a black cap and necklace contrasting with the white face and huge brilliant coral pink bill; most of rest of plumage, including throat, breast, upper belly, back, “shoulders,” rump and inner wing pale gray; flight feathers slightly darker gray; most of the belly and flanks pale dull pinkish, undertail creamy-white; tail black; legs and feet pink; eyes blackish, surrounded by pink ring.

These birds breed from April to August. They build a rounded nest of grass with a side entrace that is lined with pieces of palm fronds and other plants. They lay 3-8 white eggs, taken care of by both the male and female.

The Java Sparrow is one of the most popular of all cagebirds. While this ensures its survival in captivity, it has meant that the species has become quite scarce in many parts of its native range, as wild birds have been caught to supply the demands of the international cagebird trade. It is also extensively trapped throughout Indonesia for food. It has also been killed as a pest by farmers in rice-growing countries because of its fondness for this crop.

Males and females have the same plumage, but females may have slighty smaller bills. They form exclusive pairs, probably for life.