Thought to have originated on the islands of Java and Bali, but has since spread over a much wider area, ranging to Malaya, the Moluccas, the Philippines and other Asian localities. • Size: 14cm (5.5in). • Diet: Small cereal seeds, including paddy rice plus some greenstuff and possibly livefood. • Sexing: The sexes are alike in appearance. • Compatibility: Keep members of this species in groups, or in the company of munias. • Pet appeal: Invariably sleek and lively.
The Java sparrow often occurs in close proximity to agricultural areas, and, because of the damage that flocks can cause to the growing crops, it is also become known as the rice bird. These finches have been kept in Europe since the nineteenth century and possibly earlier, with the first definite breeding success taking place during 1890 in Switzerland. Java sparrows thrive in groups in indoor flights or outside aviaries, being highly social by nature. They should not be kept singly, or in the company of smaller companions, as they have powerful bills. It is possible to house and breed them in the company of cockatiels.