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The passerine order includes more than five thousand bird species. Representatives of different species are small and medium-sized birds.
The raven is the largest representative of the passerines. Its mass, as a rule, varies from one to one and a half kilograms, but often exceeds the last figure. Korolek is the smallest representative of passerines in the Russian Federation. Its mass ranges from five to seven grams. Some sunbirds weigh only three grams.
The wings of passerines can be blunt and short, or sharp and long. The number of primary flight feathers in individuals varies from nine to eleven, and the secondary ones are nine. The tail feathers are usually twelve, but their number can vary from six to sixteen.
Among passerines, the presence of sexual dimorphism is noted. He manifests in himself, of course, in size and appearance, as well as in his voice. Birds belonging to the order of passerines have a highly developed brain.
The life of a significant part of the species is associated with shrubs and woody vegetation, moreover, individuals of some of them (for example, beetles, nuthatches, pikas, etc.) spend on trees almost all the time.
Passeriformes are monogamous chicks. The hatched chicks are naked, blind and, accordingly, helpless - they are in the nest for at least ten days, that is, that period of time until they are covered with plumage. Sparrows carefully arrange their nests. Moulting in passerines is complete, it happens once during the year.
The diet of these birds is very diverse. A significant part of the passerine bird species is classified as sedentary. As for the sparrows (real sparrows), they are combined into a genus of small birds and belong to the weaver family.
The body length of individuals varies from twelve to seventeen centimeters. Sparrows are widespread. 12-15 cm. 17 species, including house sparrows, field, desert sparrows. In most cases they are kept in flocks.
The passerine order is very numerous. It includes over five thousand bird species. Approximately sixty-three percent of the birds that inhabit our planet are assigned to this order.
Representatives of different passerine species are similar in appearance to each other. This is absolutely not the case. On the contrary, these birds are extremely diverse. For example, the beak has a different shape. In some individuals it is relatively straight, in others it is flattened from top to bottom, in others it is triangular, in the fourth it is short and massive, and in the fifth it is long and curved. The wings can be blunt and short, or sharp and long. The tail can be either long or short, or forked, wedge-shaped, stepped, rounded or straight cut.
There are many terrestrial species among passerines. Relatively little. These include, for example, chisels, stoves, wagtails, and some larks. Many birds-representatives of the order can be safely called inhabitants of the air. And the swallows are living proof of this.
Sparrows inhabit the entire globe. Most passerines live in forest areas of warm and hot latitudes. As we approach the north, their number decreases significantly. For example, in the tundra of the European part of the Russian Federation, no more than twenty-nine percent of the total number of bird species that have been registered in this territory belongs to passerines. As for Yakutia, there are even fewer passerine species.
Passerines nest on the ground. Some individuals. Others in rock crevices or on rocks. Often, a passerine nest can be located in burrows. A considerable number of species build nests in shrubs and trees. Some species nest in human structures. As a rule, the male is determined with the place of the nest structure. The clutch (and there are two of them within one year) usually contains four to six eggs, but this number can vary both in one direction and in the other direction. Eggs are small in size and rather variegated in color (in the vast majority of species). An interesting fact is that sometimes the second clutch falls on that time interval when the chicks of the first have not yet become independent. In this case, the male takes care of the first brood. Incubation lasts from eleven to fourteen days (in most species). Already ten to eleven days after birth, the chicks are ready to leave the nest. Young individuals become sexually mature, as a rule, at the age of one year.
The house sparrow is a small bird, ubiquitous throughout the Russian Federation. The body length of the house sparrow is fourteen to fifteen centimeters, the wingspan is on average twenty one to twenty two centimeters, the body weight varies from twenty three to forty grams. The constitution of this sparrow is compact. The house sparrow is a neighbor of man, it can often be seen on city streets, in workers' settlements. Individuals of this species build nests in the crevices of adobe buildings, under the roofs of houses. A house sparrow clutch contains five or six eggs. Their surface is either grayish-blue (endowed with brown spots) or white. The incubation of eggs takes place within eleven to thirteen days. Both male and female feed juveniles. The diet of young individuals mainly includes insects. Chicks fly out of the nest on the tenth day after birth.
Sparrows are fertile birds. During the year they hatch two (in the north) or even three (in the south) broods. The emergence of chicks of the first clutch falls on the end of May or the beginning of June, and the emergence of chicks of the second clutch - in July. It is common for broods to huddle in flocks, sometimes the accumulations of sparrows that go to feed in the fields amount to several thousand individuals. Already at the end of autumn, sparrows have an abortive sexual cycle. This means that the males again begin to take care of the females, renovate old nests, carry building material in them, house sparrows during this period again chirp animatedly. By the way, the corrected nests will serve as refuge for sparrows in cold winters.
The house sparrow is a sedentary bird. Almost throughout its distribution area. The exceptions are individuals of the northernmost regions - they fly to the south for wintering, sometimes covering a distance of up to a thousand kilometers. Individuals nesting in Central Asia for the winter move to India and Southwest Asia. As for the general distribution area, the house sparrow is a common bird in Europe and Asia (it cannot be found only in the Arctic), Africa, America, New Zealand, Australia, and on many islands.
The house sparrow is a useful bird. In the northern regions of the Russian Federation, individuals of this species destroy garden pests, bringing benefits to humans. But in the southern regions of Russia, the house sparrow does significant harm. In summer, oilseeds and grain crops, as well as berries, suffer damage. It should be noted that in the rest of the year, the harm from house sparrows is insignificant.
House sparrows cannot live in captivity. Rather, on the contrary, they can live in captivity for a very long time. House sparrows are unpretentious to food. Their diet should include a grain mixture. Soft food, sunflower and rice are added to it. House sparrows can even breed in captivity. They become completely tame if taken from the nest just before departure. During the nesting period, care must be taken to ensure that there are nesting sites in the aviary. The height of the hanging nest should be on average thirty-five centimeters, and the floor area should be fifteen by fifteen centimeters. During the period of caring for the offspring, animal feed must be added to the sparrow's diet. These are live insects and their larvae, crushed hard-boiled egg, non-acidic cottage cheese, as well as fresh herbs.
The earth sparrow in appearance and way of life resembles a house sparrow. The color of the plumage of individuals of these two species is, indeed, similar, however, in earthen sparrows, unlike house sparrows, there are white spots on the wings and tail. The ground sparrow is not as widespread as the house sparrow. It lives in the Gobi Desert, and in the territory of the Russian Federation it can be found in the territories of Southeastern Transbaikalia and Southeastern Altai. The earth sparrow is a resident bird. By way of life, the earthen sparrow still differs from the house sparrow. The earthen sparrow lives in wide valleys, desert mountains and hilly steppes. Abandoned burrows of rodents serve as nesting and overnight sites for earthen sparrows. The nest is located at a depth reaching seventy-five centimeters from the entrance to the burrow. The earthen sparrow places the nest in the former dwelling chamber of a rodent that lived in the burrow; it is a depression in the heap of hay trained by this rodent. This depression is sometimes lined with feathers, but most often the earth sparrow uses wool. The clutch contains five or six eggs. Young individuals huddle in small flocks. In this composition, young sparrows spend the winter. The diet of earthen sparrows includes steppe grass seeds and insects.
The stone sparrow has a modest plumage color. Its tone is monotonously brown, but there are yellow spots on the chest, and on the tail there is a white pre-apical stripe. In size, the stone sparrow is slightly larger than the house sparrow. Its weight, as a rule, ranges from thirty to thirty-six grams. This sparrow is very mobile and noisy. As for the latter, it is easier to detect the same stone sparrow by its voice. On the earth's surface, the bird moves by jumping, it can stay in the air for quite a long time. The diet of the stone sparrow includes insects and berries. The bird can cause significant damage by eating grain in the fields near its habitat.
The stone sparrow is ubiquitous. Not certainly in that way. The distribution area of individuals of this species covers the territories of North-West Africa and Southern Europe, as well as territories from Transbaikalia, Mongolia, China and India to Israel and Asia Minor. This bird is found sporadically throughout the distribution area. In the southern parts of the distribution range, the stone sparrow is sedentary, and in the northern parts it is a migratory bird. The stone sparrow settles on rocky mountain slopes and rocks, clay and rocky cliffs. Already in April, individuals of this species begin to reproduce, the males begin to sing. Stone sparrows nest in colonies. One colony sometimes includes several dozen pairs. A clutch usually contains five or six eggs, but the number can vary from four to seven. The surface of the eggs is greenish white or white. Dark specks are clearly visible on it. The chicks stay in the nest for about twenty days. Flying chicks become in June, and at first the broods live separately. Only with the onset of the autumn season do young individuals huddle in flocks. The search for food makes the birds to lead a nomadic lifestyle. During the summer, the stone sparrow nests twice.
The field sparrow is a man's roommate. He, like the house sparrow, often equips nests in human settlements, for example, under the roofs of houses. However, he is much more likely to build nests in a natural setting. The field sparrow nests in large gardens, parks, arranges nests in bushes, woodlands, along the edges of groves. The nest is often located in earthen voids and hollows. The clutch contains four to eight eggs, but most often the number is five or six. The surface of the eggs has a grayish or white color, on which small dark specks appear.
The field sparrow is a useful bird. If only we consider the case that the field sparrow pecks up weed seeds in the winter. It is harmless in large settlements and in the northern regions of its distribution range (it covers the territories of Europe and Asia). This is explained by the fact that the number of sparrows is insignificant here, and there are no extensive crops of bread. As for the southern areas of the distribution area, where the number of field sparrows is large, and arable farming is very developed, individuals of this species can cause significant damage. The field sparrow is capable of causing very great damage to crops of sunflower, hemp, grain crops (especially millet). Cases were recorded when these birds brought the crop to such a state that its harvesting became unprofitable. It happens that along the forest belts, field sparrows peck up to ninety percent of the ears of wheat. Fruit orchards and berry plantings also suffer from invasions of field sparrows, which are much more harmful for agriculture than house sparrows. Where the number of the field sparrow is very high, a fight is even waged with it.
The desert sparrow is significantly different from other sparrows. First, it has a light colored plumage. Secondly, his voice is quite different from that of a significant number of other sparrows. Only a certain number of sounds emitted by desert sparrows are slightly similar to the chirping of a house sparrow. The distribution area of the desert sparrow covers the territories of Eastern Iran, East and North Africa, settles in hilly and sandy deserts, endowed with shrubby vegetation. Desert sparrows are sedentary birds. Their diet includes plant seeds, as well as pupae and larvae of small insects.
The saxaul sparrow is so named because of its habitat. The distribution area of these sparrows covers the semi-deserts and deserts of Central and Central Asia. Thickets of saxaul, like some other shrubs, become a place for saxaul sparrows to build their nests. In terms of habits, individuals of this species are similar to other sparrows, but the saxaul sparrow does not harm agriculture.
The golden sparrow has a beautiful plumage color. The plumage is characterized by golden yellow shades. The tail and flight feathers are dark brown in color, the white color of the coverts turns into yellow as they approach the apex. The beak is pink, but it turns black during the mating season. The plumage of the female golden sparrow is brownish-yellow in color. The length of adults reaches thirteen centimeters.
The golden sparrow is a little-known bird. Found in the coastal regions of the Red Sea. Thus, it can be seen in countries such as Arabia, Somalia and some others. The golden sparrow breeds in colonies in thickets of bushes. Twigs and grass are the building materials for the nest. The nest is built on trees or bushes. The clutch contains three or four eggs. The light surface of the eggs is covered with brownish specks. The diet of golden sparrow includes seeds of various plants. However, this bird feeds its offspring with insects.
Golden sparrows are easy to keep at home. Indeed, these birds are rather picky about keeping conditions, and their pleasant plumage color is always pleasing to the eye. It is best to keep golden sparrows in garden enclosures, but you can also in large cages. If a sparrow is bred in aviaries, then it is advisable to keep the birds in a small flock. Golden sparrows build nests on bushes.Only the female takes part in incubation. It lasts about ten days. Nine to thirteen days after birth, the chicks leave the nest. In the process of feeding the offspring, golden sparrows need to be given live insects and their larvae.
Many poets, writers, artists have chosen the sparrow as the object of their inspiration. For example, in times distant from us, singing Aphrodite, Sappho (an ancient Greek poetess) portrayed the chariot of the goddess, drawn by none other than sparrows. The sparrow even became the subject of an ode by one of the ancient Greek poets. Princess Olga, who ruled in Russia in the tenth century, used sparrows (along with the depths) as a weapon of retaliation. Wishing to avenge the murder of her husband by the Drevlyans, the princess tied tinder to the tails of birds (this is a smoldering material). After that, the birds caused a fire in the city of Drevlyans. The word "Sparrow" became the name of the famous children's magazine, which was published by Marshak, he also wrote the poem "The Sparrow in the Zoo", which all children love. And then there is such an expression as "shot sparrow", which is usually used in relation to an experienced person. Monuments have even been erected to the sparrow in some cities. For example, there is one in Boston. The reason for its construction is gratitude to the sparrow for ridding crops and gardens from the invasions of caterpillars. The fact is that this American city was "attacked" by such a huge number of at that time unknown insects that a feeling of widespread stirring was created. The sparrows dealt with these pests without much difficulty (they were specially brought from England, and after fulfilling their function they remained to live in a new place). A monument to a sparrow can be seen in Belarus - the city of Baranovichi. And of course, there is a monument to this bird in St. Petersburg. He immortalized the hero of a popular children's song - Chizhik-Pyzhik.
The sparrow got its name from its character. For a long time of coexistence of man and a sparrow (the house sparrow is the closest species to human habitation), man has studied in detail the nature of this bird. Sparrows were cunning, brave, but annoying and thieving. According to popular rumor, the word sparrow comes from two words: "thief" and "beat". This folding hypothesis has a right to exist, its basis is not very reasoned. According to another, more likely, version, the sparrow is named that way by its chirp. The onomatopoeic basis gave the name to this bird. From the word "coo" came the words "sparrow" and "sparrow", as they are consonant with him. The sparrow became a "sparrow" precisely because of its cooing.
Found little sparrow chicks are not easy for a person to feed. On the contrary, it is much easier than grown-up individuals. Little yellow sparrows do not feel fear in relation to humans and easily open their beak for feeding. Small insects (for example, crickets), as well as ant "eggs" are ideal food for them. It is not recommended to give earthworms to newborn chicks, as they often turn out to be infected with helminths. You shouldn't give mealworms either - it's too rough food for babies. If, for whatever reason, live food is not available, then the sparrows should be given chicken eggs, which are a surrogate for live food. Eggs must first be hard-boiled and then chopped as best as possible. In addition, chicks can be given meat and low-fat cottage cheese. The consistency of any mixture should allow it to roll into balls that are easy to swallow. The sparrows are fed with tweezers. After the baby has swallowed three or four balls, a little water should be dripped into his beak. The frequency of feeding is once an hour, except at night. The chick will begin to turn away from food as soon as it is full. This is usually followed by excretion of the droppings capsule.