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Last updated on April 19, 2014 at 18:42 EDT

Indian Silverbill

The Indian Silverbill (Lonchura malabarica), also known as White-throated Munia, is a small passerine bird formerly considered conspecific with the closely related African Silverbill, Lonchura cantans.

This estrildid finch is a common resident breeding bird in most of Middle East and South Asia:Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, India, Islamic Republic of Iran, Israel, Jordan (introduced), Kuwait (introduced), Oman, Puerto Rico (introduced), Qatar (introduced), Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, United Arab Emirates, USA (introduced) and Virgin Islands (possibly extinct).

The Indian Silverbill is about 4.5 inches in length with a long black tail. The adult has a stubby silver-gray bill, buff-brown upperparts, white underparts and rump and dark wings. The sexes are similar, but immature birds have buff underparts and a shorter tail.

The Indian Silverbill is a tiny gregarious bird which feeds mainly on seeds. It frequents dry open country and cultivation, especially near water. The nest is a large domed grass structure in a tree, into which 4″“10 white eggs are laid.

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Indian Silverbill