Family Waxbills (Estrildidae)

Least Concern

Red Avadavat (Amandava amandava)


French: Bengali rouge German: Tüpfelastrild Spanish: Bengalí rojo

Fringilla amandava


, 1758,

Calcutta, West Bengal, India


Curious “leap-frog” distribution of flavidiventris needs explanation: this form differs from the others by (in male) its pinkish-edged pale yellow vs dark crimson shading to blackish lower breast to belly (3); small white spots extending across breast (1); and (in female) underparts a shade more yellowish (1). Study of vocalizations required. Three subspecies recognized.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.
Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. a. amandava (Linnaeus, 1758) – Red Avadavat – patchily in Pakistan, India, S Nepal and Bangladesh.
  • A. a. punicea (Horsfield, 1821) – SE Thailand, Cambodia, S Vietnam, Hainan, Java and Bali.
  • A. a. flavidiventris (Wallace, 1864) – Yellow-bellied Avadavat – Myanmar (except Tenasserim), S China (SW Yunnan), N & C Thailand, N Vietnam (W & E Tonkin) and Lesser Sundas (Lombok, Flores, Sumba, Roti, Timor); recorded once in Laos#R.
  • Introduced widely in many parts of the world (West Indies, Mascarenes, Iberian Peninsula, Italy, Egypt, Arabian Peninsula, Iran, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, Hawaii, Vanuatu, Fiji, Borneo).

    Descriptive notes

    9·5–10 cm; 7·2–9·5 g. Male nominate race breeding is red from head to back and uppertail-coverts, crown and back tinged brown, upperwing and tail brownish black, scapulars,... read more


    Call a high "teei" or "tsi", also high-pitched chirps; nest call "teh teh... read more


    Grassland, low marshy plains, damp grass, reeds, rice fields, sugar-cane fields, tamarisk (... read more

    Food and feeding

    Small grass seeds; occasionally insects, including termites (Isoptera). Clings to stems to take ripening grass seeds; takes ripe seeds also... read more


    Season generally late in rains and early dry season, in India mainly during Jun–Dec monsoon in N, Jun–Aug in Assam, Oct–... read more


    Resident in most of range. In NW border region of Pakistan recorded mostly May–Oct; some N... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Uncommon to locally common in Indian Subcontinent; scarce to locally common in SE Asia; locally not uncommon in E Java and Bali,... read more

    Recommended citation

    Payne, R. (2019). Red Avadavat (Amandava amandava). 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 7 December 2019).