Indian Silverbill

Amidst the dusty lanes and bustling bazaars of India, there exists a tiny creature that flits about with a grace and elegance that belies its humble size. This is the Indian silverbill, a species of bird that has long captivated the hearts and imaginations of all who behold it.

With its sleek silver plumage and delicate beak, the Indian silverbill is a master of subtlety and grace. It is a creature of the air, soaring effortlessly through the skies as it searches for its next meal or perches on a nearby branch to preen its feathers in the sunlight. Yet despite its airy nature, the silverbill is also a creature of the earth, with a keen sense of smell and an uncanny ability to navigate even the most labyrinthine of urban landscapes.

Serial NumberCharacteristicsDescription
1Common nameIndian Silverbill
2Scientific nameEuodice malabarica
3ColourGreyish-brown upperparts, white underparts, pinkish beak
4Average length11-12 cm
5Average height8-10 cm
6Type of birdGrassland
7Found in IndiaThroughout India in various habitats including urban areas
8HabitatGrasslands, fields, scrubland, and urban areas
9StatusLeast Concern


The Indian silverbill (Euodice malabarica) is a small bird that belongs to the family Estrildidae. It is found throughout the Indian subcontinent and parts of Southeast Asia. 

The Indian silverbill has a small, plump body with a short tail and a conical bill. It has a round head with a small, black beak and large, dark eyes. The bird’s feet and legs are light brown, and it has strong claws for perching on branches and grass stems.

The Indian silverbill is mostly grey in color with a silvery-white underbelly. The male and female of this species look alike, with both having a greyish-brown back and a white throat. However, the male has a black patch on the chin, and the female has a smaller, less distinct patch.

The Indian silverbill is a small bird, measuring around 11 to 12 cm (4.3 to 4.7 in) in length and weighing between 9 and 12 grams (0.3 to 0.4 oz). Its wingspan is approximately 15 cm (5.9 in), and it stands at a height of about 7 to 8 cm (2.7 to 3.1 in).

Habitat and Food

The Indian silverbill (Euodice malabarica) is a small, seed-eating bird found in various parts of India, including grasslands, agricultural fields, and urban areas. These birds have diverse habitats and are known to adapt to different environments easily.

When it comes to their diet, Indian silverbills are granivorous, meaning they mainly feed on seeds. They are known to consume a variety of seeds, including millets, wheat, sorghum, oats, and rice. They also consume small insects occasionally, especially during the breeding season when they require a protein-rich diet.

In the wild, Indian silverbills can be seen feeding on the ground, often in open grassy areas or agricultural fields. They also feed on the seeds of weeds, which makes them beneficial for controlling weed growth in agricultural areas. In urban areas, these birds can often be seen feeding on bird feeders or picking up seeds from the ground.

Nesting and Nurturing

Indian Silverbills are known to be communal nesters and prefer to build their nests in colonies. They typically construct their nests in bushes, trees, or even on man-made structures such as buildings and power lines. The nests are made from a variety of materials including twigs, grasses, and feathers, and are lined with soft materials such as wool or cotton. These nests are often large and can house multiple pairs of birds at once.

The Indian Silverbill lays between four to six eggs per clutch. The eggs are typically white, although some may have a slight pinkish tint.

The eggs of the Indian Silverbill hatch after around 12 to 14 days of incubation. Both parents take turns incubating the eggs, with the male taking the night shift and the female taking over during the day. Once the eggs hatch, both parents are involved in the care of the young.

Indian Silverbills are doting parents and take great care of their young. Both parents feed the chicks, regurgitating food for them to eat. The chicks are born naked and helpless, but quickly grow a covering of down feathers. They fledge after around three weeks and become independent shortly thereafter.

IUCN Status

The Indian Silverbill (Euodice malabarica) is listed as a species of Least Concern on the IUCN Red List. This is due to its large and stable population, and the fact that it is not believed to be undergoing any significant declines or facing any major threats to its survival. However, as with all species, continued monitoring is important to ensure that its conservation status does not change in the future.

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