Java Sparrow

Padda oryzivora




Estrildid Finches (Estrildidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:


Number of Eggs:

3 - 8

Incubation Days:

13 - 15

Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Location:

In tree cavities, and under the eaves of buildings.

Nest Material:

Grasses and plant fibers.





Java Sparrow: Largest member of the Estrildid family. Upperparts and breast are gray, belly is brown-gray to pink and undertail coverts are white. Head is black with large white cheek patch, narrow red eye ring, and thick, cone-shaped pink bill. Tail is black. Sexes are similar. Female has a smaller bill and eye ring is narrower and duller. Juveniles have gray-buff upperparts and white to pale buff underparts; dark gray crown, lighter gray cheeks and throat. Bill is black-brown; eye ring is buff, iris is dusky gray and legs are pale pink.

Range and Habitat

Java Sparrow: Originally native to Java and Bali in Indonesia, and possibly Madura, this sparrow has been introduced and is established in many parts of the world, from Asia to Australia, Africa and North America. Inhabits open woodlands, often bordering cultivated areas, and is also found in mangroves, grassland, towns and villages, and in both coastal and inland areas.

Breeding and Nesting

Java Sparrow: Breeding season extends from February to August with a peak in April and May. The nest is a loosely built structure of dried grass, constructed under the roofs and eaves of buildings or in bushes and tree cavities. Usually clutches of three to eight white eggs are laid. Both sexes incubate the eggs for 13 to 15 days. The chicks fledge between 21 to 30 days after hatching.

Foraging and Feeding

Java Sparrow: These sparrows primarily eat weeds, common lantana, passion flower, grass, bamboo, seeds, rice, insects, fruit and cultivated grains. They are easily attracted to backyard feeders. They forage on the ground or in growing vegetation. They climb on plant stalks with great agility. These sparrows are often seen in large flocks in rice fields.


Java Sparrow: Song is a soft liquid warble "t'lik" or "ch'lik" often repeated and call is a metallic "pik-pik-pik" They also have a very aggressive growl when threatened "GRRRRRRRR!"

Similar Species

Java Sparrow: Not likely to be confused with any other species.

Undertail covertsX
Small feathers that cover the areas where the retrices (tail feathers) attach to the rump.
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
The ventral part of the bird, or the area between the flanks on each side and the crissum and breast. Flight muscles are located between the belly and the breast.
The upper front part of a bird.
The crown is the top part of the birds head.
Eye ringX
The circle around the eye formed of feathers that are a different color from the rest of the face.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X