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Indian silverbill (Lonchura malabarica) complete detail – updated

Indian silverbill (Lonchura malabarica) complete detail – updated. Description of Indian silverbill (Lonchura malabarica). Classification of Indian silverbill (Lonchura malabarica). Identification of Indian silverbill . Habit and habitat of Indian silverbill. They prefer dry open country and cultivation. Indian silverbill inhabits dry, open, cultivated as well as sparse scrub-and-bush country, and avoids……….. 
The black central tail feathers are slightly elongated, and the upper tail coverts are white. The tail appears pointed as the length of the feathers reduces from the center outwards. Indian silverbill have buff-brown upper parts, white under parts, and dark wings. White throat, extends from just beneath its beak to it’s under tail. Indian silverbill has a conical silver-grey bill. Both sexes are similar, but young ones have buff underparts and a shorter tail. The male usually has a slightly wider head than the female………..
Breeds throughout the greater part of the year. Both sexes construct an irregular, oval nest with the help of some grasses and other soft material. Eggs 4 to 8, white and these are incubated by both parents for about 10 to 12 days. The chicks fledge about 19 days after hatching, and around 7 days later the young can forage independently.

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Click here to view State wise list of Indian state birds (symbols) – updated

Classification

Common Name – Indian silverbill

Other Name – White-throated Munia

Local Name – Munia

Zoological Name – Lonchura malabarica

Kingdom – Animalia

Phylum – Chordata

Class – Aves

Order – Passeriformes

Family – Estrildidae

Genus – Lonchura

Conservational Status – Schedule – IV, according to wildlife (Protection) act, 1972 and classified as Least Concern (LC) by the IUCN.

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Distinctive Identification

Size between 10 to 12 cm. Indian silverbill have buff-brown upper parts, white under parts, and dark wings. White throat, extends from just beneath its beak to it’s under tail. Indian silverbill has a conical silver-grey bill.

Brown plumage on the upper parts, brownish-buff flanks and a distinctive white rump.

The black central tail feathers are slightly elongated, and the upper tail coverts are white. The tail appears pointed as the length of the feathers reduces from the center outwards.

The tail is black and the wings are dark contrasting with a white rump. White rump is sometimes visible on the sitting bird, and always visible in flight. Legs and feet can vary from deep red to pale greyish-brown.

Both sexes are similar, but young ones have buff underparts and a shorter tail. The male usually has a slightly wider head than the female.

Distribution

Found in India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Iran and Israel.  Indian silverbill has been accidentally introduced into many other parts of the world and has established itself in Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Puerto Rico, Saudi Arabia, USA, and Virgin Islands.

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Habit and habitat

Indian silverbill inhabits dry, open, cultivated as well as sparse scrub-and-bush country, and avoids humid forest. It is usually met with in flocks gleaning grass seeds on the ground or taking them off the ears.

They prefer dry open country and cultivation, especially near water. They feed on grass seeds and will also make use of crop species. Indian silverbill also feed on insects and has been known to visit nectar bearing flowers.

The pair bond is often strong enough that the birds will continue to raise broods together year after year.

The call of the Indian silverbill is a swift trill, and other vocalizations include a high-pitched ‘chirrup’ flight call and a harsh ‘tch wit’ alarm call.

Breeds throughout the greater part of the year. Both sexes construct an irregular, oval nest with the help of some grasses and other soft material. Nests have been found in a variety of locations, such as in low thorny bushes, up to 3-4 meters from the ground in trees, and even among the lower sticks of eagle nests. Indian silverbill also habitually utilizes old Weaver-bird nests for laying in.

Click here to view State wise list of Indian state animals (symbols) – updated

When displaying to a female, the male perches on a branch in an upright position and sings. The male twists its body to face the female, repeatedly bending its legs and bobbing its head, while waving around some nesting material in its beak. After dropping the nesting material, the male moves slowly towards the female and attempts copulation.

Eggs 4 to 8, white and these are incubated by both parents for about 10 to 12 days. The chicks fledge about 19 days after hatching, and around 7 days later the young can forage independently.

The nests are used as dormitories by the entire family long after the young have flown.

About Vijay Choudhary

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