Java Sparrows

To: Mike Owen <>
Subject: Java Sparrows
From: Tony Russell <>
Date: Mon, 07 Feb 2000 10:27:26 +1000

Thank you Mike, Hopefully these two or three birds have no more success
than previous escapes.

At 10:40  6/02/00 +1000, you wrote:
>Tony Russell wrote:
>> we left at dawn next day so were unable to check whether the birds were
>> still around, but on return to Adelaide we determined that the birds were
>> Java Sparrows, possibly the makings of a feral population.
>> It is suggested that someone in the area, or maybe from Ballarat or
>> Melbourne, should run a check on these escapes and see that steps are taken
>> to either recapture them or have them destroyed. It would also be worth
>> checking whether the (ex)owner has a licence to keep such birds and keeps
>> the required records, and whether appropriate authorities are aware of the
>> escape.
>Java Sparrows are an extremly common aviary bird, wirh a total Australian
>population probably of the order of 100,000. It was first bought into
>in the 1850's.  As far as I know it is not required to be registered by any
>state of Australia, and is exempt from registration by the National Exotic
>Registration Scheme.  No doubt there are many escapees each year, and so far
>there has never been a viable population established in Australia. 
>Long (Introduced Birds of the World) notes that the Victorian Acclimatisation
>Society tried to establish it in the Melbourne Botanical Gardens and in Royal
>Park in 1863, with 235 birds being released.  This attempt failed to
result in a
>viable breeding colony.  Long also notes the complete failure of the
species to
>subsequently establish from the no doubt numerous aviary escapees since that
>The Java Sparrow is many generations removed from it's wild ancestor's, and
>quite simply aviary bred birds rapidly lose their instincts for survival
in the
>wild.  The only exotic finches that are found in Australia were all
>in the days when plentiful imports of wild caught birds meant that virtually
>no-one was breeding these birds in captivity.
>The chances of 2 Java Sparrows (with no remaining instinct on avoiding
>raptors and with only a 1 in 2 chance of being of opposite sex) surviving in
>Ararat can be considered to be zero.
>Mike Owen
>Sunshine Coast
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  Tony Russell,
  Adelaide, South Australia
  phone : 08 8337 5959  , o/s 61 8 8337 5959
  There's nothing quite like the feeling of seeing a new bird is there?

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