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Species Guide
A photo of a Red Avadavat (Amandava amandava), male
Red Avadavat, Male

Red Avadavat

Amandava amandava

The Red avadavat, also known as the Red munia or Strawberry finch, is a diminutive bird of the Estrildidae family. The males are particularly striking with their vibrant plumage during the breeding season, making them a favorite among cage bird enthusiasts. These birds are native to the tropical landscapes of Asia and are closely associated with the monsoon season in the Indian Subcontinent.

Identification Tips

In the field, one can identify the Red avadavat by its rounded black tail and the bill, which turns a vivid red seasonally. The breeding male is adorned with a predominantly red upper body, save for a distinctive black eye-stripe, lower belly, and wings. White spots punctuate the red body and wing feathers. Outside of the breeding season, the male's plumage is less vivid, yet the red rump remains. Females are more subdued in coloration and exhibit less white spotting.


The Red avadavat thrives in open plains and grasslands, often found in areas with tall grasses or crops, and typically near bodies of water.


This species is widespread across the Indian Subcontinent, extending to Pakistan, India, Nepal, and Bangladesh. It also inhabits parts of Southeast Asia, including Myanmar, China, Thailand, and the Lesser Sundas. The Red avadavat has been introduced to various locations globally, from southern Spain to Hawaii.


These finches are gregarious, often seen in small flocks. They exhibit rapid wingbeats in flight and tend to descend into grass clumps, making them challenging to spot. During the breeding season, pairs exhibit strong bonds. The Red avadavat engages in allopreening within the flock and is known for its distinctive low 'pseep' call and a series of low notes that constitute its song.

Song & Calls

The Red avadavat's call is a singular low 'pseep', frequently emitted during flight. Its song comprises a sequence of subdued notes.


Breeding coincides with the monsoon season. These birds construct globular nests from grass blades and typically lay a clutch of five to six white eggs. The male's beak turns red in May, darkens by the end of the year, and reverts to black by April, indicating a link to seasonal changes.

Diet and Feeding

The diet of the Red avadavat primarily consists of grass seeds, although they will also consume insects like termites when available.

Conservation status

The Red avadavat is currently listed as Least Concern. However, it has become increasingly rare in parts of Southeast Asia. In Thailand, they are considered uncommon to rare, and in Cambodia, despite historical mass exports, significant numbers are still found in the merit release trade, raising concerns about their population levels.

Red Avadavat Sounds

Recorded by: © 
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Red Avadavats on Birda


More Waxbills, Munias & Allies

A photo of a Plum-headed Finch (Aidemosyne modesta) , male

Plum-headed Finch

Aidemosyne modesta
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