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Java Sparrow pre-fledgling

Lonchura oryzivora


Small bird, ~ four inches tall with dark gray head, back and wings, light gray breast and dark reddish-brown beak. It was not quite capable of flight beyond brief, labored airborne excursions of ~ six feet horizontally and no more than two feet vertically. Such attempts at flight were accompanied by frantic flapping of its not quite fully feathered wings. However, its preferred method of moving about appeared to be hopping.


Suburban neighborhood on an insular tropical upland plateau.


Spotted beneath a tree. My attention was drawn to it by its rather pathetic "cheep-cheep" cries. As I approached to get pictures, I noted its unsuccessful attempts at flight, and became aware of frantic squawking by birds in the tree above it. It would not allow me to approach closely, flying-hopping away to keep its distance. Eventually, as it made its way some distance from the tree, two adult birds joined the tableau, squawking vigorously, but keeping distant both from me and what was almost certainly their offspring. Those adults made no attempt to "attack" or harass me, nor did they feign injury to try to distract me. I eventually acquired two long-distance images of the not-quite-ready-for-flight juvenile and one of an adult (the third image of this spotting). I see Java Sparrows--certainly descendents of escaped cage birds--frequently, but I've never been able to image one until today. Pictures acquired, I silently wished the young bird well, and went on my way.

1 Species ID Suggestions

AshleyT 4 years ago
Java Sparrow
Lonchura oryzivora Java sparrow

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1 Comment

Allen Hoof
Allen Hoof 4 years ago

Thanks Ashley. I've edited the spotting to reflect the ID you provided.

Allen Hoof
Spotted by
Allen Hoof

Lat: 21.45, Long: -158.03

Spotted on Jan 15, 2015
Submitted on Jan 16, 2015

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