Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Java Finches

Exciting new residents in the aviary.  Java Finches! 

also known as:
Rice Finches, Rice Sparrows, Java Rice Birds, Java Temple Birds, Paddy Birds, Java Sparrow

Javas come in gray with black trim and white cheeks, white with some gray smudges, and a pied version.  They are about 5.5 inches long.

Males and females look similar.  The beak of the male is a slightly darker pink.  The males are more vocal.  Their song is a curious, almost electronic sound.  Some describe the voice of Java's as tropical.  (When I find a recording of a Java's voice, I'll post the link.)


Java Finches are originally from Bali and Java where they are considered pests because they eat rice kernels just before rice farmers want to harvest their rice crop.

As pets, Javas are hardy.  They are best housed in a flight cage.  Like all finches, they need to fly.  They eat various seeds; canary, finch and parakeet seed mixes suit them.  Javas also enjoy millet and green seeds as well as egg food, insects and meal worms.

Javas breed readily.  (Good for the pet trade.  Bad for rice farmers.)  The female lays 4-7 eggs in a loosely constructed nest typically made up of grass stalks.  After 13-14 days the eggs hatch.  In 3-4 weeks the youngsters are independent.
In captivity, although larger than other finches, reportedly Javas are congenial when sharing quarters with other species.  (Right now, my pair of Javas have a cage to themselves.  When other arrangements are made, I will report on how everybody is getting along.)
See some nice pictures