1US, Caribbean The bobolink, Dolichonyx oryzivorus, flocks of which often frequent rice fields while on migration. Compare "rice bunting", reed-bird .
2Any of various other birds, especially songbirds, (supposedly) found in rice fields.
Formerly frequently as an item of food, as were bobolinks.
3The Java sparrow, Padda oryzivora (family Estrildidae), which frequents rice fields in Asia and is popular as a cage bird.
Early 18th century (in an earlier sense). From rice + bird.