Java Sparrows are native birds to the islands of Java and Bali in Indonesia. While their official name is Java Sparrow they are actually a Finch and they are also known as a Java Finch and Java Rice Bird. They are often seen in grasslands, open woodlands with grass, maize fields, cane fields and of course, rice fields.

While the Java Sparrow is native to Indonesia they have been introduced into other areas around the world. The photos in this post were taken in Honolulu and on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Their body is mostly gray with a black head, white cheeks, red beak and red ring around the eye. The underside of their body is mauve and white with a black tail.

They are very social birds and are mostly seen in flocks when they are foraging or roosting. It is most likely that if you see one then you will probably see several in the same location.  Most of the photos in this post are focused on a single bird but there is almost always another bird in the photo (unless I cropped it out).

Java Sparrows are comfortable around people and it is easy to get close to them but they are very small and they are almost constantly moving so getting a good photo can be difficult.

About this Bird

Family: Finch

Location: Native to Indonesian islands of Java and Bali but they are not commonly seen on these islands. They have been introduced across the globe including India, Philippines, Venezuela, Puerto Rico and the Hawaiian Islands.

Size: 15 to 17 cm (6 to 6.75 in) in length from the beak to the tip of its tail feathers.

Lifespan: 5 to 10 years

Diet: Grass seeds, fruit, rice, maize and small insects.

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2 thoughts on “Java Sparrow – Hawaii”

  1. Great photos Doug, I am sure it would have been a great challenge for you to get a good picture give that they keep moving and really small.

    1. Thanks Ashoak! Photographing small birds is always a challenge. Small birds never seem to stay in one place very long and they like to stay close to cover so many times it is hard to get a clear view for the photo.

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