Caged birds: Japanese sparrow

Caged birds: Japanese sparrow

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Systematic classification and distribution

Class: Birds
Order: Passeriformi
Family: waxbills
Kind: Lonchura
Species: L. striata domestica Vieillot, 1817

The Japanese sparrow does not exist in nature, it was created artificially by crossing various species of Lonchura to obtain a docile bird that could breed the chicks of other Estrildidi (we will talk more about it later). These birds were selected in Japan during the eighteenth century from specimens imported from China. These cute exotics are now known and appreciated all over the world.

Japanese sparrow (photo

Japanese sparrow (photo

Morphological characteristics

Fairly filiform bird, the posture is stretched on the perch when on alert. Length of about 12-13 cm, the exhibition subjects are larger. The beak is large and very robust, the color varies according to the mutation. The typical Japanese sparrow is brownish, darker on the back and wings, gray-black beak, light brownish chest.

Japan sparrow


Very easy to breed, it reproduces all year round, obviously the hottest periods should be avoided. Eat a mixture for parakeets (appreciate big seeds) supplemented with panic, in ears or in bulk. Vegetables and fruit are appreciated but not excessively, pastoncino, cuttlefish bone necessary all year round, but the thing that will make your sparrows happier will be a nice bath of clean water. The cage must have a minimum size of 45 cm. They are very sociable birds that appreciate group life, and at night they all sleep in the same nest. For breeding, however, only one pair per cage must be kept or at most one male and two females, who will cover and raise the offspring together. It is the male who builds the nest, then the female lays 3 to 8 eggs (on average 5) that both partners will cover for 15 days. The young grow up very quickly and can be separated from their parents at 45 days.
Important: sex cannot be distinguished visually, the only way to distinguish them is that the male sings, and the female lays eggs. For the rest, subjects that are dumb or who let themselves be mounted can be submissive males, while subjects that mount others and that seem dominant can be females.

The Sparrow of Japan as a nurse: sadly it is its main function, many breeders make indiscriminate use of Sparrows of Japan to breed more delicate species, relegating them to very small cages.
Now, Sparrows are certainly excellent parents, but they don't have to be raised just for this, they are very nice and docile birds that give a world of satisfactions, why exploit them? That said, they can be used as nurses, but they must be properly prepared, that is, accustomed to eating live insects and very protein pastels if they have to dance delicate species whose young need a lot of protein.
The simplest method is this, when sparrows lay their eggs, throw them away and replace them with those of the species you want to dance.
Personally I find it a little cruel to throw eggs away, for this I prefer to form pairs or trio of males, who breed much better than females, in this case it is a matter of making them settle in well, having them build their nest, and then when they are ready to start to add a fake egg a day up to 5-6 eggs, wait for them to hatch and then insert the real eggs. At the birth of the young, these will be raised as their own children in 99% of cases.

curated by Tommaso Airoldi

Video: Java Sparrow (August 2022).