|Copyright: Siarhei Biazberdy (biazberdy)
|Date Taken: 2006-09-02|
|Camera: Sony Cybershot DSC-F828|
|Exposure: f/3.5, 1/500 seconds|
|Photo Version: Original Version|
|Date Submitted: 2006-12-04 7:29|
|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|These were the last warm days.. and looks like it was the last chance for these birdies to take a bath|
The House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) is a member of the Old World sparrow family Passeridae. It occurs naturally in most of Europe and much of Asia. It has also followed humans all over the world and has been intentionally or accidentally introduced to most of the Americas, sub-Saharan Africa and Australia as well as urban areas in other parts of the world. In the United States it is also known as the 'English Sparrow', to distinguish it from native species, as the large American population is descended from birds deliberately imported from Britain in the late 19th century. They were introduced independently in a number of American cities in the years between 1850 and 1875 as a means of pest control.
Wherever people build, House Sparrows sooner or later come to share their abodes. Though described as tame and semi-domestic, neither is strictly true; humans provide food and home, not companionship. The House Sparrow remains wary.
The 14 to 16 centimetre long House Sparrow is abundant but not universally common; in many hilly districts it is scarce. In cities, towns and villages, even round isolated farms, it can be the most abundant bird.
The male House Sparrow has a grey crown, cheeks and underparts, black on the throat, upper breast and between the bill and eyes. The bill in summer is blue-black, and the legs are brown. In winter the plumage is dulled by pale edgings, and the bill is yellowish brown.
The female has no black on head or throat, nor a grey crown; her upperparts are streaked with brown. The juveniles are deeper brown, and the white is replaced by buff; the beak is dull yellow.
So familiar a bird should need little description, yet it is often confused with the smaller and slimmer Tree Sparrow, which, however, has a chestnut and not grey crown, two distinct wing bars, and a black patch on the cheeks.
The House Sparrow is gregarious at all seasons in its nesting colonies, when feeding and in communal roosts.
Although the Sparrows' young are fed on larvae of insects, often destructive species, this species eats seeds, including grain where it is available.
In spring, flowers, especially those with yellow blossoms, are often attacked and torn to bits; crocuses, primroses and aconites seem to attract the House Sparrow most. The bird will also hunt butterflies.
The short and incessant chirp needs no description, and its double call note phillip which originated the now obsolete popular name of "Phillip Sparrow", is as familiar.
While the young are in their nests, the older birds utter a long churr. At least three broods are reared in the season.
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