Java Rice Bird
The Java Rice Bird is also known as the Javan Finch, the Paddy Bird, the Paradise Sparrow, the Java Sparrow, and the Rice Munia. Due to habitat loss and hunting and trapping for food and the caged bird trade, this finch has become uncommon within its native range.
It is about 5.5 inches in length and weighs around 20 g. Its head, rump, and tail are black, and its back, wings, and chest are gray. The cheeks are white, and its beak, legs, and eye rings are pinkish to red in color. The sexes are similar in appearance, although the male’s beak is slightly larger and its eye rings may be a bit deeper and redder. Juveniles are dull gray in color with blackish beaks. Several color mutations of this bird exist, including white, cream, and fawn.
It mainly feeds on rice when available, but being omnivorous, it also eats other seeds, grains, fruits, insects, and even bamboo shoots.
The Java Rice Bird occurs on grasslands and open woodlands, and has also become accustomed to habiting in cultivated areas and along human settlement. Due to its affinity towards occupying, and subsequently feeding off of, rice paddies, this bird has become a pest creature in the eyes of many. It is a resident breeder in Java, Bali, and Bawean in Indonesia. It is known to nest in trees or buildings.
Breeding season coincides with the rice crop harvest. The female usually lays 4 – 6 eggs per clutch. Both parents incubate the eggs, but only the female incubates them at night. Incubation lasts about 14 days, and fledging occurs approximately 21 – 30 day after hatching.