THE TIMOR SPARROW
A close relative of the Java Sparrow is the Timor Sparrow, (Padda fuscata) also known as Timor Dusky Sparrow. The Timor Sparrow is found on the Islands of Timor and Roti, located north of Australia. The Timor Sparrow is somewhat smaller than the Java, but the resemblance and close affinity is unmistakable. They look like Javas with a different costume!
The head and cheak patch are similar in color, whereas the body color is dark chocolate brown, and the abdoment is white with a hint of cream. Perhaps its most striking feature is the pale silvery-blue beak, reminiscent of many species of nuns. The vocalizations of the Timor Sparrow are similar, yet distinct from the Java, being higher in pitch. This beautiful cousin of the Java is in captivity in the US and Europe, but it is very uncommon and can be very difficult to breed.
I maintained a couple of colonies of Timors, totaling over 40 birds for several years. For a couple of years and they did produce a few young. But being wild caught, I found them inconsistent breeders at best, producing offspring one year and none the next. Finally after several consecutive seasons with no breeding, I sold the entire colony to another Java breeder, who unfortunately has reported no success. I have no doubt that in time the Timor Sparrow could develop the same domesticity that we enjoy with the Java Sparrow today. They are beautiful birds and now I am sorry that I sold them and did not persist in my efforts to establish them.