Warbling Silverbill (Lonchura malabarica)

Warbling Silverbill (Lonchura malabarica)

Warbling Silverbill (Lonchura malabarica)
Location: Kohala Coast, Big Island, Hawaii

Here in Hawaii, this cute little bird is known as the Warbling Silverbill (Lonchura malabarica).   I understand that it's called the Indian Silverbill in Asia.  These are small birds, only about 4 inches (10 cm) in length.  They are plentiful in our area and they nest in trees and hedges all around our garden.

They're very social birds.  They visit our feeder and our bird bath throughout the day in pairs and small groups, and always seem to be chattering amongst themselves.  It's unusual to see one alone.   In fact, when this one perched on the top of this Areca Palm all by itself, it was a surprise.  Then I noticed its mate snuggled in amongst the fronds of the Areca, just below.

14 comments:

2sweetnsaxy said...

Nice picture. One of these days I'm going to find a bird or two to photograph. When I've visited the botanical gardens I've seen a few but never long enough to even aim the camera good. :-(

Rambling Woods said...

I always enjoy seeing a bird photo especially one that doesn't come through WNY...

BNS said...

@ 2Sweet - Thanks. I sometimes have trouble with birds, too, esp. the ones that flit about!

@ Rambling Woods - Thank you. If you see one of these guys in your area, you probably should call the Audubon Society! ;-}

Bobbie

Linda said...

I recently got my Nikon D40 and am just learning. I'm happy to see you are posting your settings. Hope I can learn from you. BTW..I have a SIL living in Kailua-Kona.

Jeff said...

The sky looks so blue. Obviously, Hawaii has better air than Los Angeles.

BNS said...

@ Linda - I'm sure you will enjoy your camera. It's a very nice one.

@ Jeff - To be honest, it depends on the day. We have our hazy days, too, thanks to our active volcano.

Bobbie

Gallicissa said...

I was quite amazed to see Indian Silverbill being found in Hawaii and being called in a completely different name! Surely this population must be introduced?

BNS said...

Hi Gallicissa -

You are right. The bird was introduced in Hawaii, although I don't know the circumstances. According to one book I have, it was first reported in the wild in the 1970s right here in my district (Kohala, on Hawaii's Big Island), and has since spread to the islands of Maui and Lanai.

Regarding the difference in common name between Hawaii and Asia, that's why we need to learn the scientific names -- so we know if we're talking about the same creature or not!

Bobbie

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the pic! We are living in Waikoloa, HI and had a pair of small birds trying to roost under our roof. We have many birds at our feeders in the back yard, and identified most, but this little couple were new. Somewhere, somehow they had found a strip of 3 sheets of toilet paper and spent most of an afternoon trying to fly this up to their nest. Felt so sorry for all their determined efforts.. Thanks again!

BNS said...

Anonymous, your story about the nest-building is very familiar. Once these Silverbills decide on a nesting site, they are very persistent about proceeding -- even if the wind or some other force interferes, they just start all over again. They can be quite single-minded!

Bobbie

Brooks Rownd said...

Warbling silverbill was split into african and indian species, and the birds in hawaii are generally assumed to be mostly african silverbills.

BNS said...

Thank you for the additional info. :)

cellolaw said...

Your page came up first on Google when I typed in "warbling silverbill" -- a friend identified our own bird picture with that name and we wanted to know more. We were in Hawaii last summer on our sailboat, and one of these birds hitched a ride on our boat, from Molokai to Oahu (part way). You can see photos and description here: http://www.svsequoia.com/index.php/trip-reports/hawaii-2011/41-cellolaw3?showall=&start=3

BNS said...

Hi cellowlaw -

I had a look at your very nice sailing blog, and yes, the bird in the photos from your Molokai to Oahu crossing definitely is a Warbling Silverbill. Hope the little hitch-hiker made it back to land!

Bobbie