Red Avadavat is a (sparrow size) 9 cm in length. This bird species is locally established introduction from tropical Asia in the Iberian Peninsula, N Italy, and Egypt. This is a beautiful tiny and sociable finch-like bird of reedbeds and grassland. The adult male summer bright crimson, with the blackish ventral region, wings, and tail; closer views reveal the body and wings to be freckled with tiny white spots, most obvious on blacker wings and on flanks, and a narrow white fringe to tail. It is also known as red munia or strawberry finch.
Adult male winter and adult female are significantly duller, being dull brown above and grayish-buff below, washed with yellow on the belly but with obvious bright crimson rump and bright red bill; closer views reveal lines of small white spots across dark wings.
Compared with the adult female Red-billed Firefinch they are a bit shorter-tailed, have less pale eye-ring, and have tiny white spots on wings (female Red-billed Firefinch has small white spots constrained to the breast). The red rump simply prevents confusion with Common Waxbill.
The juvenile bird is a little duller, with a dull brown rump and dusky bill. Appears browner and buffer and shorter-tailed than Common Waxbill and is nearly always in the company of more distinctive adults. Usually in tight small flocks, often seen whirring quickly along with over tops of waterside vegetation, dropping to feed just inside tops of swaying reeds, but also sometimes on the ground at the base of reeds.
Generally, it is a quiet and shy bird and is often seen only in flight when red rump is eye-catching. Comparatively large round nests are usually well hidden in the bases of reeds.
Most likely confusion is with Red-billed Firefinch, but the range does not overlap, habitat is quite different, and latter is longer-tailed, has brown wings, a pale eye-ring, and lacks white spots (apart from some tiny spots on breast). There are four subspecies, however, amandava species is found in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, China, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Thailand.
Adult male winter is grayer on head and throat than an adult female. The juvenile Red Avadavat is, in the beginning, has a blackish bill (becoming reddish-brown) and is buffer below, less yellowish than adult female, with brown rather than red rump and buff, and no white, spots on wings.
CALL / SONGS
Red Avadavat calls include a musical series of high-pitched chirps and a short husky squeak. However, the Red Avadavat song is a high-pitched continuous twittering.
HABITAT – Red Avadavat is not uncommon but highly localized. Therefore this is now an established introduction in N Egypt (Suez, El Faiyum, Nile delta), Iberian Peninsula, and probably N Italy. It is found at reed beds and papyrus beds, flat plains, rushes, sedges, and neighboring grassland and cultivation fields (mostly wet rice paddies). In the moon soon seasons, it breeds in the subcontinent.
BEHAVIORS – They are mostly seen in the small flocks, can fly with quick wing beats, and feeds consist of insects, seeds, and termites. They prefer to build a globular nest with grass blades. The nest contains 5 to 6 white colors eggs. The beaks turn red in May, but it gets to their peak in November and December.
Related Readings: Common Rosefinch