Red-billed leiothrix:ソウシチョウ

by E. Fukugawa

image00Red-billed leiothrixes is kind of sparrows. They are animals of foreign origin. Originally, they live in India, China, Vietnam, and Myanmar. Now they live in Kanto, Kinki, Chugoku, Shikoku, and Kyushu in Japan. They look so pretty, but they are feared to break the ecosystem. They expel bush warblers.They are “Worst 100 of Japanese aggressive introduced species”.

Description and Taxonomy
Their total length is 14~15cm. The feather of back is green. The neck is yellow. There have red spot in the wing. The bill is red. They twitter in large voice. They eat insects, fruits, and seeds. Their breeding season is April~October. It is comparatively long. It is less than a month to leave the nest from birth, so it is thought that they can breed several times a year.

Range and Ecology
They live in mountain of 1000 meters or less. Especially, they live in growth of trees and bamboo. Originally, they live in India, China, Vietnam, and Myanmar, but, now, they live also in Japan. They make crowd of 20 birds. In autumn, they make crowd with great tits.

Use and Conservation
In Edo era, they were imported for pet. But, they were imported frequently in 1980s from China. They were much imported because it is easy to take care of them, and it is cheap. Since invasive alien species act was enforced, pet shops had many stock of them. Pet shops did not have much money to feed them, so many of them were set free. It is prohibited to raise them from 2005.

Wild Red-billed leiothrixes may break ecosystem. Specially, it is said that bush warblers are expelled by them. Wild Red-billed leiothrixes and bush warblers live in same place. The number of Wild Red-billed leiothrixes increase, so bush warblers are expelled. So we have to decrease the number of Wild Red-billed leiothrixes. I think we have to catch some of them and decrease their breeding. But it is cruel that they become extinct, so I want to make environment that both Wild Red-billed leiothrixes and bush warblers can live.

 They are feared to break ecosystem. But many people like looking them, because they are so cute. They are in thicket in many cases, so we can look them near the ground. They make crowd, so we may be able to look many of them.


  1. I understood Red-billed leiothrix well. The color of feather is so beautiful. I was surprised that they are “Worst 100 of Japanese aggressive introduced species”.


  2. Not that you have seen such a beautiful bird, but I would like to see this bird if inhabits in Kochi.


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