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Birds of Thailand

Species of Thailand

Red avadavat

Binomial name: Amandava amandava, Carolus Linnaeus, 1758

The red avadavat, red munia or strawberry finch (Amandava amandava) is a sparrow-sized bird of the Estrildidae family. 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.

Description

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.

Evolution and systematics

The red avadavat were earlier included in the genus Estrilda by Jean Delacour. This placement was followed for a while but morphological, behavioural, biochemical and DNA studies now support their separation in the genus Amandava. The Estrildinae are thought to have evolved somewhere in the Indian plate and moving into the African and Pacific regions and it has been estimated that the red munia diverged from the green munia about 9 million years ago.

Habitat and distribution

Red avadavats are found mainly on the flat plains, mainly 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.

Introduced populations exist in southern Spain, Brunei, Fiji, Egypt, Malaysia, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Singapore and Hawaii.

Behaviour and ecology

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.

Two ectoparasitic species of bird lice (an ischnoceran, Brueelia amandavae, and an amblyceran, Myrsidea amandava) have been identified living on them and a paramyxovirus has been isolated from birds kept in Japan.

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Scientific classification

Kingdom
Animalia
Phylum
Chordata
Class
Aves
Order
Passeriformes
Family
Estrildidae
Genus
Amandava
Species
Amandava amandava

Synonyms

  • Estrilda amandava
  • Sporaeginthus amandava

Conservation status

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Red avadavat

Red avadavat

Copyright Flickr,

Red avadavat (male, juvenile)

Red avadavat (male, juvenile)

Copyright Flickr,

Distribution map of Red avadavat, Amandava amandava in Thailand
  • Ban Phai District, Khon Kaen
  • Ban Sang District, Prachinburi
  • Bang Pu Recreation Centre
  • Bangkok Province
  • Bueng Boraped Non-hunting Area
  • Chaiyo District, Ang Thong
  • Chatturat District, Chaiyaphum
  • Chiang Khong District, Chiang Rai
  • Chiang Saen District, Chiang Rai
  • Chum Ta Bong District, Nakhon Sawan
  • Doi Inthanon National Park
  • Doi Lo District, Chiang Mai
  • Doi Pha Hom Pok National Park
  • Doi Suthep-Pui National Park
  • Huai Chorakhe Mak Reservoir Non-hunting Area
  • Huai Talat Reservoir Non-hunting Area
  • Kaeng Khoi District, Saraburi
  • Kamphaeng Saen District, Nakhon Pathom
  • Kantharawichai District, Maha Sarakham
  • Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park
  • Khao Yai National Park
  • Khao Yoi District, Phetchaburi
  • Khlong Luang District, Pathum Thani
  • Khun Tan District, Chiang Rai
  • Kumphawapi District, Udon Thani
  • Mae Ai District, Chiang Mai
  • Mae Rim District, Chiang Mai
  • Mae Taeng District, Chiang Mai
  • Mueang Buriram District, Buriram
  • Mueang Chachoengsao District, Chachoengsao
  • Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai
  • Mueang Chiang Rai District, Chiang Rai
  • Mueang Chonburi District, Chonburi
  • Mueang Khon Kaen District, Khon Kaen
  • Mueang Lamphun District, Lamphun
  • Mueang Nakhon Nayok District, Nakhon Nayok
  • Mueang Phetchaburi District, Phetchaburi
  • Mueang Suphanburi District, Suphan Buri
  • Mueang Tak District, Tak
  • Mueang Uttaradit District, Uttaradit
  • Nong Bong Khai Non-hunting Area
  • Nong Song Hong District, Khon Kaen
  • Nong Suea District, Pathum Thani
  • Pa Sak Chonlasit Dam Non-hunting Area
  • Pak Chong District, Nakhon Ratchasima
  • Pak Phli District, Nakhon Nayok
  • Pak Thale
  • Sai Noi District, Nonthaburi
  • Samut Prakan Province
  • San Sai District, Chiang Mai
  • Sanam Bin Reservoir Non-hunting Area
  • Sikhoraphum District, Surin
  • Taphan Hin District, Phichit
  • Thanyaburi District, Pathum Thani
  • Wat Phai Lom & Wat Ampu Wararam Non-hunting Area
  • Wiang Kaen District, Chiang Rai

Range map of Amandava amandava in Thailand

Important note; our range maps are based on limited data we have collected. The data is not necessarily accurate or complete.

Special thanks to Ton Smits, Parinya Pawangkhanant, Ian Dugdale and many others for their contribution for range data.

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