Sunday, November 30, 2014

Bird of the Day: A Sparrow that's not a Sparrow, and a Successful Immigrant

The House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) is one of the most common birds in existence, with a success that stems from a close association with human habitations. It's not a sparrow, at least in the American sense, and instead is part of a family called the weaver-finch in Europe where the bird is native. It was introduced to the North American continent in 1850 and has since spread to all the contiguous American states.
The birds are apparently evolving as they compete in different environments across the continent. They are showing differences in shading with paler colors in the southwest, and darker colors in more humid regions. 
I caught these images in Florence, Oregon in a small park along the Siuslaw River. I figured if I am going to post images of one of the most familiar birds in existence that I'd better catch them very close! I hope these pictures fit the bill (or the bill fits in the picture).
The House Sparrows originated in the Middle East, and have spread throughout the world along with the development of agriculture. They, like domestic cats and dogs, seem to have cast their lots with we humans, and will thrive as long as we do.

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