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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sparrows
House Sparrow
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Suborder: Passeri
Infraorder: Passerida
Superfamily: Passeroidea
Family: Passeridae
Illiger, 1811
Genera

Passer
Petronia
Carpospiza
Montifringilla

True sparrows, the Old World sparrows in the family Passeridae, are small passerine birds. As eight or more species nest in or near buildings, and the House Sparrow and Eurasian Tree Sparrow in particular inhabit cities in large numbers, sparrows may be the most familiar of all wild birds.[1]

Contents

Characteristics and classification

Generally, sparrows tend to be small, plump brown-grey birds with short tails and stubby, powerful beaks. The differences between sparrow species can be subtle. They are primarily seed-eaters, though they also consume small insects. A few species scavenge for food around cities and, like gulls or pigeons, will happily eat virtually anything in small quantities. Members of this family range in size from the Chestnut Sparrow (Passer eminibey), at 11.4 cm (4.5 inches) and 13.4 g., to the Parrot-billed Sparrow (Passer gongonensis), at 18 cm (7 inches) and 42 g. (1.5 oz). Sparrows are physically similar to other seed-eating birds, such as finches, but have a vestigial dorsal outer primary feather and an extra bone in the tongue.[2]

The Old World true sparrows are indigenous to Europe, Africa and Asia. In Australia and the Americas, early settlers imported some species which quickly naturalised, particularly in urban and degraded areas. House Sparrows, for example, are now found throughout North America, in every state of Australia except Western Australia, and over much of the heavily populated parts of South America.

Some authorities previously classified the related estrildid finches of the Old World tropics and Australasia as members of the Passeridae.[3] Like the true sparrows, the estrildid finches are small, gregarious and often colonial seed-eaters with short, thick, but pointed bills. They are broadly similar in structure and habits, but tend to be very colourful and vary greatly in their plumage. There are about 140 species. The 2008 Christidis and Boles taxonomic scheme lists the estrildid finches as the separate family Estrildidae, leaving just the true sparrows in Passeridae.[3]

American sparrows, or New World sparrows, are in a different family, Emberizidae, despite some physical resemblance such as the seed-eater's bill and frequently well-marked heads.

The Hedge Sparrow or Dunnock (Prunella modularis) is similarly unrelated. It is a sparrow in name only, a relic of the old practice of calling any small bird a "sparrow".

Species

Juvenile House sparrow

This is a list of sparrow species:

Cultural references

Literary

Old World sparrows in literature are usually House Sparrows.[citation needed]

Mountain Magpie, Sparrows and Bramble, by the Chinese artist Huang Zhucai (933–after 993), Song Dynasty.

See also

References

  1. ^ Clement, Peter; Colston, P. R. (2003). "Sparrows and Snowfinches". in Perrins, Christopher. The Firefly Encyclopedia of Birds. Firefly Books. pp. 590–591. ISBN 1-55297-777-3. 
  2. ^ Bledsoe, A.H. & Payne, R.B. (1991). Forshaw, Joseph. ed. Encyclopaedia of Animals: Birds. London: Merehurst Press. pp. 222. ISBN 1-85391-186-0. 
  3. ^ a b Christidis L, Boles WE (2008). Systematics and Taxonomy of Australian Birds. Canberra: CSIRO Publishing. pp. 177. ISBN 9780643065116. 

Further reading

  • Clement, Harris and Davis, Finches and Sparrows ISBN 0-7136-8017-2 (hardcover) ISBN 0-7136-5203-9 (paperback)

External links


Wikispecies

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikispecies

Taxonavigation

Main Page
Cladus: Eukaryota
Supergroup: Unikonta
Cladus: Opisthokonta
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Classis: Aves
Subclassis: Carinatae
Infraclassis: Neornithes
Parvclassis: Neognathae
Ordo: Passeriformes
Subordo: Passeri
Parvordo: Passerida
Superfamilia: Passeroidea
Familia: Passeridae

Subfamiliae: Estrildinae - Motacillinae - Passerinae - Ploceinae - Prunellinae

Name

Passeridae (Illiger, 1811)

Vernacular names

Deutsch: Sperlinge
English: Sparrow
한국어: 참새과
Hrvatski: Vrapci
Türkçe: Serçegiller
Wikimedia Commons For more multimedia, look at Passeridae on Wikimedia Commons.

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