Some facts about sparrows

  The sparrow is a small bird of the Finch family (Fringillidae), generally with dull plumage and slight powers of song, feeding on or near the ground, and nesting in bushes or on the ground. Of American sparrows, probably the most familiar is the common chipping sparrow, or hairbird, a small grayish bird. The field sparrow is a similar species which occurs throughout the eastern United States in summer, distinguished by its brighter rufous color and flesh-colored bill. A third species, the tree sparrow, occurs in the United States only in winter, breeding in Labrador and the Hudson Bay region. It is considerably larger than the chippy and has a conspicuous black spot on the grayish-white breast. Next to the chippy the best-known American sparrow is probably the song spar­row, which in some one of its varieties ranges throughout practically the whole of North America. It is between 6 and 7 inches in heigth. the upper surface brown, the under surface dull white, but streaked with black or rufous brown. Its nest is composed of grasses and rootlets, lined with fine grasses and long hairs, and is frequently placed on the ground. The eggs are variable in color and form, the ground shade ranging from nearly white to deep blue thickly marked with reddish brown. Some twenty or thirty other birds are called sparrows in the United States, among which are the vesper sparrow and the savanna or grasshopper sparrows, or more correctly Passerculus. Our native spar­rows. in contrast to the introduced English sparrow, a pest, are of very great importance to the agriculturist. The great bulk of their food consists of seeds, fruits, and insects. Native sparrows destroy very little grain, but do consume vast numbers of weed seeds. Insects also make up from 25 to 35 percent of their diet.