What do you know about Sparrows? 10 Interesting facts about Sparrows


What do you know about Sparrows?

Raise your hand those who have never seen a sparrow?

These small, nimble birds accompany a person everywhere. It is not for nothing that they were classified as synatropic species, i.e. permanent cohabitants of a person.

"American tree Sparrow" by "Jocelyn Anderson" is licensed under CC by Attribution 3.0 Unported

"American tree Sparrow" by "Jocelyn Anderson" is licensed under CC by Attribution 3.0 Unported

There are 27 species of sparrows in the world, 4 of them live in Russia - field, brownie, black-breasted or Spanish (found in Dagestan) and red ( Sakhalin, Southern Kurils).

Interesting facts about Sparrows:

  • Sparrows have been living near humans for more than 10,000 years
  • In flight, the sparrow's heart beats at a rate of up to 1,000 beats per minute. For this reason, the sparrow can not fly for a long time. This bird needs a little rest every 15-20 minutes.
  • If a sparrow is badly frightened, it can die of a heart attack.
  • Sparrows see the world through rose-colored glasses. The peculiarity of sparrows ' vision is that everything has a pink tint, although most birds see the world in black and white.

  • Sparrows ' short legs are not adapted for walking, so sparrows do not walk on the ground, as, for example, pigeons, but move by jumping.
  • Despite its small size, the sparrow surpasses the giraffe in the number of cervical vertebrae.
  • Sparrows belong to the order of passerines. The largest" relative " of the sparrow is the raven, and the smallest is the kingling.
  • It's hard to believe, but until 1860, there were no sparrows in America. They were specially imported to Boston from England so that these small birds would destroy the caterpillars that devour trees. Now there is a monument to the sparrow in Boston.

  • The sparrow is mentioned in the Bible. In the New Testament, Jesus says that not even a sparrow can fall from heaven without the Lord's will.
  • In total, there are more than a billion sparrows on Earth.

By the way, do you know how to distinguish a field sparrow from a brownie?

Read more about birds in our collection "About Birds"

Brownie and field sparrows. Similarities and differences

They are resourceful and sociable, bold and careful, quick-witted and quick-witted. Their element is city blocks and rural streets. But, living for thousands of years near humans, sparrows remain wild and distrustful birds.

In the Middle zone of Russia, there are 2 species: brownie and field. The brownie is slightly larger than its counterpart. However, the dimensions overlap greatly, and a large field may be larger than a small brownie.

You can distinguish these birds by their cap. In the field it is bright brown, in the brownie it is much lighter.

But the house sparrow has a well-defined sexual dimorphism. The male differs from the female in the presence of a black spot near the eyes and on the chest, a gray top of the head, and a brighter color of the back, resembling the back of a field sparrow.

They like to live in the city. Here they found everything they needed: open areas for finding food, trees and buildings for building nests. Brownies mostly settle closer to the center, field ones - on the outskirts.Brownies prefer to nest under windowsills or in various crevices on balconies. Field plants-in hollows, crevices of walls, under roofs, artificial hollows.

Colonies are also found in crevices of rocks, burrows dug by other birds, in the walls of nests of large birds.

Field birds often nest at an altitude of one and a half to 5-6 meters.brownies prefer heights from 3 meters to 9-10.

The higher the nest is located, the better it is protected from land predators, but it is inconvenient to feed the chicks at high altitude, since it is far to fly for food, and this consumes a lot of energy.

The male does not guard a large area around the nest, but only the nest, so sparrows can nest in dense colonies. This is especially true when they settle under slate roofs.Both species can live there together. The denser the colony, the greater the risk that neighbors will climb into someone else's nest and throw away the eggs.

They start breeding early, when the temperature in the daytime during the week rises to +6 +10 degrees. At the same time, the negative night temperature does not frighten them.

Moreover, brownies begin to nest a week earlier.

The sparrows ' nest is well insulated.

It resembles a warbler's nest. It is made in the form of a hut with a roof and an entrance from the side. Only it is not on the ground, but in an additional shelter.

In the southern regions, sparrows, especially brownies, can make hanging nests like tropical weavers.

For a long time, sparrows belonged to the weaver family. And only at the end of the 20th century they were separated into a separate family.

The house sparrow has a more powerful and strong beak, adapted for gnawing seeds with a hard shell.

The field crushes hard seeds with great difficulty. Even with sunflower seeds, he takes a long time to tinker. Both species prefer hard seeds to be swallowed with a shell.

Sparrows are grain-eating birds. However, the chicks are fed insects, and during this period they themselves eat them in large numbers.

The digestion of sparrows is more powerful than most insectivores, so if there is a lack of soft caterpillars, butterflies, flies, they can carry large beetles to their chicks, and even furry caterpillars, which most birds do not eat.

House sparrows choose larger insects than field sparrows.

Very small insects of both species are eaten only if there are a lot of them. For example, if the wind drops insects in large numbers on a flat surface from a tree affected by aphids, then sparrows can collect them from the ground.

Cities don't always have the right amount of insects, so sparrows can feed their chicks with leftover human food. Part of the brood dies in this case. Survivors may have a metabolic disorder. But nevertheless, the sparrow population is quite capable of being supported on such food, unlike other birds.

Both species are not adapted to feeding in thick, tall grass, but can inspect it from above and collect insects from the air. They can collect insects from trees. But they prefer to feed on trampled ground and paved surfaces.

Brownies prefer to run quickly on flat and open surfaces and choose the largest food.

Field animals move more slowly when feeding and grab everything in a row. They feed in more grassy areas. If fieldworms and brownies live on the same territory in a mixed colony, they are not competitors when collecting food. They choose different foods and eat in different places. The exception is feeding in winter on feeders, where they eat the same thing. On the feeders often arrange fights among themselves.

Field sparrows, looking for seeds, can dig up loose soil or snow up to 10-15 cm. Brownies don't row, but they can chase away a field dog and use the hole they've dug.

Sparrows usually raise 2 successful broods per season.

There are usually 4-5 eggs in a clutch.

After leaving the nest, one half of the brood is fed by the male, the other half by the mother.

When the chicks become independent, they go along with the adults to wander far enough away from the nesting site.

Brownies roam within the city limits.Field workers often move outside the city, to the fields.

Mixed flocks may also occur, when the number of one species is significantly less than the other.

Sparrows like to organize meetings on the bushes. Some are plucking feathers, some are dozing, and some are looking around and chirping. But it is worth a casual passerby to pay attention to the bush, as the bird's peaceful talk immediately breaks off and everyone is alarmed. It is worth making another careless movement, and the whole flock flies to another bush.

In recent years, the number of sparrows has significantly decreased. This is especially true for the house type. To draw public attention to this issue, the Russian Bird Conservation Union has declared the House Sparrow the Bird of the year 2022.

Read more birds using the link: About Birds