Java Finch
PO  Box 126 Mitcham Vic 3132 ( Victoria, Australia )

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. Java finch
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    photo of Java finch
  • Scientific Name:  Padda oryzivora                       (Click on photo to enlarge)
  • Sub Species in country / area of origin:  None
  • Origin / Distribution:  Java & Bali
  • Habitat In Wild:  Open grasslands and lightly wooded areas.  Have adapted to living in and around rice fields.
  • Status In Wild:  Secure but numbers are decreasing
  • Status In (Australian) Captivity:  Common and secure
  • Age To Sexual Maturity: ?
  • Lifespan (estimate):  approx 7 - 9 years
  • Sexing:  Monomorphic / Dimorphic ( Some subtle differences)
  • Mutations:  Yes. Many well established colours.
  • Availability:  Pet shops and bird dealers
  • Temperament:  Perfect beginners bird.  Unless ill or moulting, this bird always presents with perfect plumage.  Can be housed with larger finches in a mixed finch and small parrot collection.  Generally aggressive to smaller finches.  Breed well in canary style cages.
  • Cost (Victoria) Per Pair: - Normal colour (Approx.) $30
  • Description Of Adults: One of the larger of the Non Australian finches.
  1. Length: Approx 130 - 150 mm (or approx 5 - 6 inches)
  2. Colour ( "normal" colour ): Refer photo top right.  (Click on above photo to enlarge)
  3. Weight: Approx 25 gms (or almost 1 oz)
Aviary Notes:

Read notes on "Finches - Non Australian" web page and use in conjunction with details outlined on this page.

Level Of Knowledge Required: Beginner / Intermediate / Advanced / Specialist Breeders Only.

Government Regulations & By-Laws:  Refer to "Government Laws" web page.

Housing Requirements:  Click on "Housing birds" web page for general details on the housing of Non Australian Finches or read on for specific details for this finch.

The seem perfectly happy in a parrot style aviary devoid of plants or shrubs.  Java finches will quickly de-leaf a shrub or leafy plant.  They are active birds in an aviary and the provision of branches at both ends of the aviary will allow them to exercise their flight skills and keep fit.

Can be bred indoors in a budgie / canary breeder size cage as well as an outdoor aviary.  Can be housed as a colony in a suitably sized aviary.

They can be bred in a Canary style breeder cage of about 900mm long x 400mm high x 400mm deep (36 x 16 x 16 inches).  Only one breeding pair per cage.

Diet / Feeding:  Click on "Feeding birds" web page for general details on the nutrition of  Non Australian Finches or read on for specific details for this finch.

One of the easiest species of birds to feed.  They require a good quality finch mix and some seeding grasses to produce a successful clutch.  They will eat some fruits (e.g. apple) and vegetables.  Live foods are not essential for successful breeding of Java finches but will be beneficial and provide a more balanced protein diet.  Mealworms are commonly used.

Basic seed mix should include Canary seed, White French Millet, Japanese Millet, and Yellow and Red Panicum.

Nesting: A basic overview only.

  • Roosting nest: Yes / No
  • Nesting months:  May breed year round but spring to autumn are the preferred months.
  • Nesting receptacles:  Most people provide artificial nests such as enclosed wooden nest boxes with a round entrance hole (similar to a large budgie nest box), a half open nest box, hollow logs and a wide variety of commercially available nests.  Java finches are large finches and built a substantial nest so it is important to provide a suitable large nest facility.  Hinged lid nest boxes are good to allow inspections and for cleaning the old nests.
  • Nest:  Will make a nest from grasses, coconut fibre, moss and soft materials.  Nest is lined with feathers and soft fine grasses.
  • Who incubates the eggs: Hen  at night.  Both share during the day.

In a colony, nests should be well separated to minimize the potential for aggression.

More details on finch nests and a selection of finch nest photos can be located on the "nests", "finch nests" and "finch nest photos" web pages.  Click on "Up" then "nests" then "finch nests" and "finch nests photos" in the navigation bars. 

Breeding: Egg Colour White.  Clutch/s per year 3.  Eggs per nest  4 - 7.  Incubation approx. 14 days.  Fledge approx. 28 days.  Independent approx. another 4 weeks.

Parents are generally tolerant of nest inspections and generally allow the owners to leg ring the young.  Java young are in the nest for a longer duration of time than other species of finches and emerge as a large bird with good ability to fly.  The young will return to the nest at night.  Generally safe to leave the young in the aviary after the parent birds start another clutch.  If young are left in the aviary with the parent birds care has to be taken to avoid the possibility of overcrowding.  Javas are often prolific breeders.  Pair bonds are not strong and re-pairing is easy and quick.

Can be bred in cages to produce a particular coloured young and to more easily know the genetic background of each bird.

Young birds (when they become fully independent) must be removed when bred in a cage. Generally safe to remove the young from the parent birds 4 weeks after they have left the nest.

Artificial incubation, hand rearing or fostering will not be covered on this web site.  It is too complex and diverse in nature to be attempted here.  Refer "Specific References" as listed below and "General References" listings.

Health Issues: Refer "Avian Health Issues" web page for information and references.

  • Worming and parasite control and Quarantine requirements of new birds or sick birds are considered to require veterinary advice and therefore not covered on this web site.  Refer above option - "Avian Health Issues" web page.
  • Avian medicine is advancing at a rapid pace.  Keep updating your knowledge and skills.

General References:  Refer to references listed on "Book References" web page.

Specific References:

  • Australian Aviculture
  • A/A Vol 57 No. 12 Dec 2003 Page 275-276
  • A/A Vol 57 No. 10 Oct 2003 Page 231-232
  • A/A Vol 57 No. 1 Jan 2003 Page 18-19.
  • A/A Vol 53 No. 7 July 1999 Page 143-144
  • A/A Vol 53 No. 4 Apr 1999 Page 73-75 (Inc photo)
  • A/A Vol 41 No. 6 Jun 1987 Page 146-148
  • A/A Vol 36 No. 10 Oct 1982 Page 211-212
  • A/A Vol 34 No. 6 Jun 1980 Page 104-106
  • A/A Vol 32 No. 1 Jan 1978 Page 2
  • A/A Vol 28 No. 4 Apr 1974 Page 59
  • A/A Vol 21 No. 9 Sept 1967 Page126-127.
  • A/A Vol 13 No 2 Feb 1959 Page 27-28.
  • A/A Vol 12 No 6 Jun 1958 Page 80-83.
  • A/A Vol 12 No 5 May 1958 Page 68-71.
  • A/A Vol  3 No 5 May 1949 Page 46.
  • Australian Birdkeeper
  • ABK Vol  7 Issue 6. Dec-Jan 1995 Page 267-270
  • ABK Vol  2 Issue 9. Jun-July 1989 Page 339-341

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