Family Waxbills (Estrildidae)

Least Concern

Indian Silverbill (Euodice malabarica)


French: Capucin bec-de-plomb German: Indiensilberschnabel Spanish: Capuchino picoplata indio

Loxia malabarica


, 1758,

Malabar, south-west India


See comments under E. cantans (above). Monotypic.


E Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, E Oman, and S Iran E along coast to Indian Subcontinent S of Himalayas, from Pakistan and Nepal E to Bangladesh (Sundarbans) and S to Sri Lanka (dry zone); also in Israel, Jordan, extreme NE Egypt (Sinai), NW Arabia and Kuwait (origin uncertain, probably introduced). Introduced in Hawaiian Is, Puerto Rico, Virgin Is (St Croix) and France#R.

Descriptive notes

11 cm; 10–14 g. Male is dull brown above, crown scaly, lower back to rump and uppertail-coverts white, outer webs of longest uppertail-coverts contrastingly black,... read more


Call of male a single loud “tseep”; female has double-noted “tsiptsip”,... read more


Open country, semi-desert and scrub, open dry woodland, cultivated areas, and towns and villages.... read more

Food and feeding

Grass seeds, also seeds of sedges (Cyperaceae), rice and cultivated millet when available; also small insects, and nectar of Erythrina... read more


Breeds throughout year, varying locally, generally beginning with onset of rains; mainly in winter months in Indian Subcontinent; mid-Mar... read more


Resident, with local movements. Shifts linked to rainfall.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Locally common. Less common in Sri Lanka, where the species has apparently declined in recent decades; cause of decline not known.... read more

Recommended citation

Payne, R. (2020). Indian Silverbill (Euodice malabarica). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 23 January 2020).