JAVA SPARROW

JAVA SPARROW (Lonchura oryzivora)Java Sparrow

As the English name implies, the Java sparrow (or finch) has been introduced from Indonesia to Hawaii in the 1960s. This small bird has a very large bill for its size, which reveals its potential as a voracious seed eater. In its native range it has now become threatened, but not so where it was introduced, such as in Hawaii. However this bird is ‘non grata’ in the rest of the United States, due to its potentially devastating impact on agriculture, especially rice (hence the Latin name, which means ‘rice eater’).

The Java sparrow is seen on grass in groups looking for seeds. It has white cheeks, a black head, grey back and breast, and a white underside. The bill is red, and the legs are pink.

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Java Sparrow foraging on lawn - Ala Moana Park, Oahu - © Denise Motard
Java Sparrow foraging on lawn – Ala Moana Park, Oahu – © Denise Motard
Java Sparrow, tail-rump view - Ala Moana Park, Oahu - © Denise Motard
Java Sparrow, tail-rump view – Ala Moana Park, Oahu – © Denise Motard
Java Sparrows have large white cheeks - Diamond Head, Oahu - © Denise Motard
Java Sparrows have large white cheeks – Diamond Head, Oahu – © Denise Motard
Java Sparrows have a huge bill - Ala Moana Park, Oahu - © Denise Motard
Java Sparrows have a huge bill – Ala Moana Park, Oahu – © Denise Motard

This video shows a juvenile java sparrow in a tree, but close to the ground:

Java Sparrows are a threat to agriculture in the USA, but are becoming rare in their home country:

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