The Timor Sparrow is such a close relative to the Java Sparrow that it was felt correct by founder members of this society to take it under our wing.
The Timor Sparrow is classed as vulnerable in the wild because it is reported to be "likely to suffer a rapid decline in the near future, as a result of increasing exploitation for the cage-bird trade and habitat loss". The bird is 12-14 cm in length. It has a blackish cap and throat with white cheeks. Chocolate-brown upperparts and chest, which then moves to a clear white belly to the rump area. The beak and legs are a steel grey coloured.
The Timor Sparrow is restricted to East Timor and West Timor, also its outlying islands, Semau and Roti. It populates low grassland, woods, cattle fields and also is seen on the edges of towns etc. in small groups.
Threats to the birds habitat, mainly the destruction in West and East Timor is reported to be extensive. Large numbers of birds are felt by some to be captured for the cage-bird trade, and this is seen to be the key threat in the future for the Timor Sparrow in the wild.
The Timor Sparrow in the United Kingdom
There does not seem to be a massive following for the Timor Sparrow in the UK. This may be down to the fact that there is very little information circulating on how best to keep and breed these delightful finches. It would be good if the inclusion of the Timor Sparrow in our Society would help to rectify this matter and increase the amount of valid information on this bird for UK birdkeepers in particular.