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Java sparrow

Java Sparrow 1

Padda oryzivora


Found throughout New Zealand and in parts of Australia and New Caledonia.


A wide range, but mostly open country.


Mainly grains and seeds.


After the rainy season from November to March, when food is abundant.


A loosely-built structure of dried grass or other plant material. Nest sites vary greatly – from treetops to the eaves of buildings to crevices in coastal cliffs.


Clutch size is usually 4-8 eggs.


Both parents share incubation during the day, only the hen incubating overnight.  Chicks hatch after 14 days.  At 3-4 weeks old, the chicks fledge and are ready to leave the nest. At six weeks, the youngsters are generally independent and feeding themselves. At 3-5 months, the first moult occurs, beginning the transition to adult plumage. At 6-7 months, they will be fully adult.


Capture for the international cage-bird trade, habitat loss and hunting.

Conservation status:



The male and female are very similar in appearance, but a little more differentiated in the breeding season. Only the male performs a courtship display, including a song and simple dance.
Life span in captivity is 9-11 years. 
In their native range – Java, Bali and Sumatra – Java sparrows were once widespread and abundant, but a rapid and ongoing decline in numbers has been due primarily to the domestic and international cage-bird trade. Their habit of roosting tightly together made them an easy target for capture. As a significant agricultural pest (oryzivora means “rice eater”), the birds and their nests were also destroyed by rice farmers. 
Conservation efforts are focusing on meeting market demand for cage-birds from captive breeding stock, promoting the restriction of trade in wild birds, and developing programmes to protect remaining populations.