Scientific Name: Amandava amandava
Name: Red Avadavat
Breeding male: crimson and brown, spotted white on wings and flanks; white-tipped tail. Female: brown above, spotted on wings; crimson rump; dull white throat; buffy-grey breast, yellow brown below. Non-breeding male: like female, but greyer throat; upper breast distinctive. Small flocks, often with other weavers; partial to tall grass and scrub, preferably around well-watered areas; active and vibrant birds and rather confiding; huge numbers captured for bird markets.
Size in cm:
Size in Inch
brown (Bird may have more colors)
Red Avadavat feed mainly on grass seeds but will also take insects such as termites.
Habit and habited:
Tall wet grassland, reedy marshes, sugarcane fields and tamarisk scrub near cultivation.
Song is a weak, hegh-pitched warble; calls include a thin teei and a variety of high-pitched chirps and squeaks.
The red avadavat, red munia or strawberry finch (Amandava amandava) is a sparrow-sized bird of the family Estrildidae. It is found in the open fields and grasslands of tropical Asia and is popular as a cage bird due to the colourful plumage of the males in their breeding season. It breeds in the Indian Subcontinent in the monsoon season. The species name of amandava and the common name of avadavat are derived from the city of Ahmedabad in Gujarat, India, from where these birds were exported into the pet trade in former times.
This small finch is easily identified by the rounded black tail and the bill that is seasonally red. The rump is red and the breeding male is red on most of the upper parts except for a black eye-stripe, lower belly and wings. There are white spots on the red body and wing feathers. The non-breeding male is duller but has the red-rump while the female is duller with less of the white spotting on the feathers.
Red avadavats are found mainly on flat plains, in places with tall grasses or crops, often near water. The species has four named populations. The nominate subspecies is found in Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Pakistan; the Burmese form has been called flavidiventris (also found in parts of China, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam); the population further east in Java is called punicea and in Cambodia decouxi.
This finch is usually seen in small flocks, flying with rapid wingbeats and descending into grass clumps where they are hard to observe. Pairs stay together during the breeding season. These birds produce a distinctive low single note pseep call that is often given in flight. The song is a series of low notes. Birds of a flock will preen each other, ruffling their head feathers in invitation. They feed mainly on grass seeds but will also take insects such as termites when they are available.
They build a globular nest made of grass blades. The usual clutch is about five or six white eggs.
The beak begins to turn red in May and darkens during November and December. The beak then turns rapidly to black in April and the cycle continues. These seasonal cycles are linked to seasonal changes in daylength.