Sparrows are a family of small passerine birds. They are also known as true sparrows, or Old World sparrows, names also used for a particular genus of the family, Passer. They are distinct from both the American sparrows, in the family Passerellidae, and from a few other birds sharing their name, such as the Java sparrow of the family Estrildidae. Many species nest on buildings and the house and Eurasian tree sparrows, in particular, inhabit cities in large numbers, so sparrows are among the most familiar of all wild birds. They are primarily seed-eaters, though they also consume small insects. Some species scavenge for food around cities and, like gulls or rock doves will happily eat virtually anything in small quantities.
|A male house sparrow|
Generally, sparrows are small, and plump, brown and grey birds with short tails and stubby, powerful beaks. The differences between sparrow species can be subtle. Members of this family range in size from the chestnut sparrow (Passer eminibey), at 11.4 centimetres (4.5 in) and 13.4 grams (0.47 oz), to the parrot-billed sparrow (Passer gongonensis), at 18 centimetres (7.1 in) and 42 grams (1.5 oz). Sparrows are physically similar to other seed-eating birds, such as finches, but have a vestigial dorsal outer primary feather and an extra bone in the tongue. This bone, the preglossale, helps stiffen the tongue when holding seeds. Other adaptations towards eating seeds are specialised bills and elongated and specialised alimentary canals.
The family Passeridae was introduced (as Passernia) by the French polymath Constantine Samuel Rafinesque in 1815. Under the classification used in the Handbook of the Birds of the World (HBW) main groupings of the sparrows are the true sparrows (genus Passer), the snowfinches (typically one genus, Montifringilla), and the rock sparrows (Petronia and the pale rockfinch). These groups are similar to each other, and are each fairly homogeneous, especially Passer. Some classifications also include the sparrow-weavers (Plocepasser) and several other African genera (otherwise classified among the weavers, Ploceidae) which are morphologically similar to Passer. According to a study of molecular and skeletal evidence by Jon Fjeldså and colleagues, the cinnamon ibon of the Philippines, previously considered to be a white-eye, is a sister taxon to the sparrows as defined by the HBW. They therefore classify it as its own subfamily within Passeridae.
Many early classifications of the sparrows placed them as close relatives of the weavers among the various families of small seed-eating birds, based on the similarity of their breeding behaviour, bill structure, and moult, among other characters. Some, starting with P. P. Suskin in the 1920s, placed the sparrows in the weaver family as the subfamily Passerinae, and tied them to Plocepasser. Another family sparrows were classed with was the finches (Fringillidae).
Some authorities previously classified the related estrildid finches of the Old World tropics and Australasia as members of the Passeridae. Like sparrows, the estrildid finches are small, gregarious and often colonial seed-eaters with short, thick, but pointed bills. They are broadly similar in structure and habits, but tend to be very colourful and vary greatly in their plumage. The 2008 Christidis and Boles taxonomic scheme lists the estrildid finches as the separate family Estrildidae, leaving just the true sparrows in Passeridae.
Despite some resemblance such as the seed-eater's bill and frequently well-marked heads, American sparrows, or New World sparrows, are members of a different family, Passerellidae, with 22 genera recognised. Several species in this family are notable singers. American sparrows are related to Old World buntings, and until 2017, were included in the Old World bunting family Emberizidae.  The hedge sparrow or dunnock (Prunella modularis) is similarly unrelated. It is a sparrow in name only, a relict of the old practice of calling more types of small birds "sparrows". A few further bird species are also called sparrows, such as the Java sparrow, an estrildid finch.
|Passer, the true sparrows||
The sparrows are indigenous to Europe, Africa and Asia. In the Americas, Australia, and other parts of the world, settlers imported some species which quickly naturalised, particularly in urban and degraded areas. House sparrows, for example, are now found throughout North America, Australia (every state except Western Australia), parts of southern and eastern Africa, and over much of the heavily populated parts of South America.
The sparrows are generally birds of open habitats, including grasslands, deserts, and scrubland. The snowfinches and ground-sparrows are all species of high latitudes. A few species, like the Eurasian tree sparrow, inhabit open woodland. The aberrant cinnamon ibon has the most unusual habitat of the family, inhabiting the canopy of cloud forest in the Philippines.
Sparrows are generally social birds, with many species breeding in loose colonies and most species occurring in flocks during the non-breeding season. The great sparrow is an exception, breeding in solitary pairs and remaining only in small family groups in the non-breeding season. Most sparrows form large roosting aggregations in the non-breeding seasons that contain only a single species (in contrast to multi-species flocks that might gather for foraging). Sites are chosen for cover and include trees, thick bushes and reed beds. The assemblages can be quite large with up to 10,000 house sparrows counted in one roost in Egypt.
The sparrows are some of the few passerine birds that engage in dust bathing. Sparrows will first scratch a hole in the ground with their feet, then lie in it and fling dirt or sand over their bodies with flicks of their wings. They will also bathe in water, or in dry or melting snow. Water bathing is similar to dust bathing, with the sparrow standing in shallow water and flicking water over its back with its wings, also ducking its head under the water. Both activities are social, with up to a hundred birds participating at once, and is followed by preening and sometimes group singing.
Sparrows may be the most familiar of all wild birds worldwide. Many sparrow species commonly live in agricultural areas, and for several, human settlements are a primary habitat. The Eurasian tree and house sparrows are particularly specialised in living around humans and inhabit cities in large numbers. 17 of the 26 species recognised by the Handbook of the Birds of the World are known to nest on and feed around buildings.
Grain-eating species, in particular the house and Sudan golden sparrows, can be significant agricultural pests. Sparrows can be beneficial to humans as well, especially by eating insect pests. Attempts at the large-scale control of sparrows have failed to affect sparrow populations significantly, or have been accompanied by major increases in insect attacks probably resulting from a reduction of sparrows, as in the Great Sparrow Campaign in 1950s China.
Because of their familiarity, the house sparrow and other sparrows are frequently used to represent the common and vulgar, or the lewd. Birds usually described later as sparrows are referred to in many works of ancient literature and religious texts in Europe and western Asia. These references may not always refer specifically to sparrows, or even to small, seed-eating birds, but later writers who were inspired by these texts often had the house sparrow and other members of the family in mind. In particular, sparrows were associated by the ancient Greeks with Aphrodite, the goddess of love, due to their perceived lustfulness, an association echoed by later writers such as Chaucer and Shakespeare.
Jesus's use of "sparrows" as an example of divine providence in the Gospel of Matthew also inspired later references, such as that in the final scene of Shakespeare's Hamlet and the Gospel hymn His Eye Is on the Sparrow.
Sparrows have been kept as pets at many times in history, even though most are not particularly colourful and their songs are unremarkable. They are also difficult to keep, as pet sparrows must be raised by hand and a considerable amount of insects are required to feed them. Nevertheless, many are successful in hand raising orphaned or abandoned baby sparrows.
The earliest mentions of pet sparrows are from the Romans. Not all the passeri mentioned, often as pets, in Roman literature were necessarily sparrows, but some accounts of them clearly describe their appearance and habits. The pet passer of Lesbia in Catullus's poems may not have been a sparrow, but a thrush or European goldfinch. John Skelton's The Boke of Phyllyp Sparowe is a lament for a pet house sparrow belonging to a Jane Scrope, narrated by Scrope.
The AIM-7 Sparrow is an American, medium-range semi-active radar homing air-to-air missile operated by the United States Air Force, United States Navy, and United States Marine Corps, as well as other various air forces and navies. Sparrow and its derivatives were the West's principal beyond visual range (BVR) air-to-air missile from the late 1950s until the 1990s. It remains in service, although it is being phased out in aviation applications in favor of the more advanced AIM-120 AMRAAM.
The early Sparrow was intended primarily for use against larger targets and especially bombers, and had numerous operational limitations in other uses. Against smaller targets, the need to receive a strong reflected radar signal made achieving lock-on at the missile's effective range difficult. As the launching aircraft's own radar needed to be pointed at the target throughout the engagement, this meant that in fighter-vs-fighter combat the enemy fighter would often approach within the range of shorter-range infrared homing missiles while the launching aircraft had to continue flying towards its target. Additionally, early models were only effective against targets at roughly the same or higher altitudes, below which reflections from the ground became a problem.
A number of upgraded Sparrow designs were developed to address these issues. In the early 1970s, the RAF developed a version with an inverse monopulse seeker and improved motor known as Skyflash, while the Italian Air Force introduced the similar Aspide. Both had the ability to be fired at targets below the launching fighter ("look-down, shoot down"), were more resistant to countermeasures, and much more accurate in the terminal phases. This basic concept was then made part of the US Sparrows in the M model (for monopulse) and some of these were later updated as the P model, the last to be produced in the US. Aspides sold to China resulted in the locally produced PL10. The Japan Self-Defense Forces also employ the Sparrow missile, though it is being phased out and replaced by the Mitsubishi AAM-4.
The Sparrow was also used as the basis for a surface-to-air missile, the RIM-7 Sea Sparrow, which is used by a number of navies for air defense of their ships. Fired at low altitude and flying directly at its target through the lower atmosphere, the range of the missile in this role is greatly reduced. With the retirement of the Sparrow in the air-to-air role, a new version of the Sea Sparrow was produced to address this concern, producing the much larger and more capable RIM-162 ESSM.
NATO pilots use the brevity code Fox One in radio communication to signal launch of a Semi-Active Radar Homing Missile such as the Sparrow.Anthony Sparrow
Anthony Sparrow (1612–1685) was an English Anglican priest. He was Bishop of Norwich and Bishop of Exeter.Asparagus
Asparagus, or garden asparagus, folk name sparrow grass, scientific name Asparagus officinalis, is a perennial flowering plant species in the genus Asparagus. Its young shoots are used as a spring vegetable.
It was once classified in the lily family, like the related Allium species, onions and garlic, but the Liliaceae have been split and the onion-like plants are now in the family Amaryllidaceae and asparagus in the Asparagaceae. Sources differ as to the native range of Asparagus officinalis, but generally include most of Europe and western temperate Asia. It is widely cultivated as a vegetable crop.Donnie Darko
Donnie Darko is a 2001 American science fiction psychological thriller film written and directed by Richard Kelly. It stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Jena Malone, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Drew Barrymore, Mary McDonnell, Katharine Ross, Patrick Swayze, Noah Wyle, Stu Stone, Daveigh Chase and James Duval. The film follows the adventures of the troubled title character as he seeks to find the meaning behind his doomsday-related visions.
Filmed over the course of 28 days, which matches the passage of time in the film, Donnie Darko was almost released straight-to-video. It was screened at the Sundance Film Festival on January 19, 2001, before receiving a limited theatrical release on October 26, 2001, by Flower Films. Due to the film's advertising featuring a crashing plane and the September 11 attacks that transpired a month before, the film was scarcely advertised. The film grossed just over $7.5 million worldwide on a budget of $4.5 million.Despite its initial lackluster box office performance, Donnie Darko received critical acclaim. Critics lauded the story, acting, and tone. It was listed No. 2 in Empire's "50 Greatest Independent Films of All Time", as well as No. 53 in Empire's "500 Greatest Movies of All Time". It was released on VHS and DVD in March 2002. The film became a surprising success on the home video market, reportedly grossing over $10 million in sales and developing a cult following. A director's cut was released in 2004, on a two-disc special edition DVD. A stage adaptation appeared in 2007, and a sequel, S. Darko, in 2009.
The film's soundtrack included a cover version of Tears for Fears's "Mad World" by Gary Jules and Michael Andrews which topped the UK Singles Chart for three consecutive weeks; the song achieved lukewarm success in the United States, reaching No. 30 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart.Eurasian tree sparrow
The Eurasian tree sparrow (Passer montanus) is a passerine bird in the sparrow family with a rich chestnut crown and nape, and a black patch on each pure white cheek. The sexes are similarly plumaged, and young birds are a duller version of the adult. This sparrow breeds over most of temperate Eurasia and Southeast Asia, where it is known as the tree sparrow, and it has been introduced elsewhere including the United States, where it is known as the Eurasian tree sparrow or German sparrow to differentiate it from the native unrelated American tree sparrow. Although several subspecies are recognised, the appearance of this bird varies little across its extensive range.
The Eurasian tree sparrow's untidy nest is built in a natural cavity, a hole in a building or the large nest of a European magpie or white stork. The typical clutch is five or six eggs which hatch in under two weeks. This sparrow feeds mainly on seeds, but invertebrates are also consumed, particularly during the breeding season. As with other small birds, infection by parasites and diseases, and predation by birds of prey take their toll, and the typical life span is about two years.
The Eurasian tree sparrow is widespread in the towns and cities of eastern Asia, but in Europe it is a bird of lightly wooded open countryside, with the house sparrow breeding in the more urban areas. The Eurasian tree sparrow's extensive range and large population ensure that it is not endangered globally, but there have been large declines in western European populations, in part due to changes in farming practices involving increased use of herbicides and loss of winter stubble fields. In eastern Asia and western Australia, this species is sometimes viewed as a pest, although it is also widely celebrated in oriental art.Hector Barbossa
Captain Hector Barbossa is a fictional character in the Pirates of the Caribbean film series, portrayed by Australian actor Geoffrey Rush. Barbossa appears in all films of the series. Starting out as a villainous undead pirate in The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003), the character dies at the end of the film. However, he is revealed to have been brought back to life at the end of Dead Man's Chest (2006), and appears as a Pirate Lord in At World's End (2007), a privateer with the Royal Navy in On Stranger Tides (2011), and finally as the rich and influential leader of his own pirate fleet in Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017). Throughout the series, the character has been conceptualized as a "dark trickster" and counterpart to Captain Jack Sparrow.His Eye Is on the Sparrow
"His Eye Is on the Sparrow" is a Gospel hymn written in 1905 by lyricist Civilla D. Martin and composer Charles H. Gabriel. It is most associated with actress-singer Ethel Waters who used the title for her autobiography. Mahalia Jackson's recording of the song was honored with the Grammy Hall of Fame Award in 2010.House sparrow
The house sparrow (Passer domesticus) is a bird of the sparrow family Passeridae, found in most parts of the world. It is a small bird which has a typical length of 16 cm (6.3 in) and a mass of 24–39.5 g (0.85–1.39 oz). Females and young birds are coloured pale brown and grey, and males have brighter black, white, and brown markings. One of about 25 species in the genus Passer, the house sparrow is native to most of Europe, the Mediterranean Basin, and much of Asia. Its intentional or accidental introductions to many regions, including parts of Australasia, Africa, and the Americas, make it the most widely distributed wild bird.
The house sparrow is strongly associated with human habitation, and can live in urban or rural settings. Though found in widely varied habitats and climates, it typically avoids extensive woodlands, grasslands, and deserts away from human development. It feeds mostly on the seeds of grains and weeds, but it is an opportunistic eater and commonly eats insects and many other foods. Its predators include domestic cats, hawks, owls, and many other predatory birds and mammals.
Because of its numbers, ubiquity, and association with human settlements, the house sparrow is culturally prominent. It is extensively, and usually unsuccessfully, persecuted as an agricultural pest. It has also often been kept as a pet, as well as being a food item and a symbol of lust, sexual potency, commonness, and vulgarity. Though it is widespread and abundant, its numbers have declined in some areas. The animal's conservation status is listed as least concern on the IUCN Red List.Jack Sparrow
Captain Jack Sparrow is a fictional character and the main protagonist of the Pirates of the Caribbean film series. The character was created by screenwriters Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio, and is portrayed by Johnny Depp. The characterization of Sparrow is based on a combination of The Rolling Stones' guitarist Keith Richards and Looney Tunes cartoon character Pepé Le Pew. He first appears in the 2003 film Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. He later appears in the sequels Dead Man's Chest (2006), At World's End (2007), On Stranger Tides (2011), and Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017).
In the films, Sparrow is one of the nine pirate lords in the Brethren Court, the Pirate Lords of the Seven Seas. He can be treacherous and survives mostly by using wit and negotiation rather than by force, opting to flee most dangerous situations and to fight only when necessary. Sparrow is introduced seeking to regain his ship, the Black Pearl, from his mutinous first mate, Hector Barbossa. Later he attempts to escape his blood debt to the legendary Davy Jones while fighting the East India Trading Company.
The Pirates of the Caribbean series was inspired by the Disney theme park ride of the same name, and when the ride was revamped in 2006, the character of Captain Jack Sparrow was added to it. He headlined the Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow attraction at Disney's Hollywood Studios, and is the subject of spin-off novels, including a children's book series Pirates of the Caribbean: Jack Sparrow, which chronicles his teenage years.Jack Sparrow (song)
"Jack Sparrow" is a song by American comedy troupe The Lonely Island featuring singer-songwriter Michael Bolton. The song and music video debuted on Saturday Night Live as an SNL Digital Short on May 7, 2011. The plot follows the troupe inviting Bolton to work on a new hip hop track, in which the members rap about meeting at a club and taking women home. Bolton ruins the group's song by instead singing choruses about the Pirates of the Caribbean film series and their primary protagonist Captain Jack Sparrow, but also with references to Forrest Gump, Erin Brockovich, Scarface and Jerry Maguire.
The track was written by The Lonely Island during the production process of their second album, Turtleneck & Chain, in the summer of 2010. With an initial premise concluded, the members settled on contacting Bolton to make an appearance for the track. The trio relentlessly begged Bolton, who was initially uneasy to commit due to the track's coarse language. After recording the track, the troupe recorded a music video with Bolton as Jack Sparrow, protagonist of the aforementioned film series. The clip, on which Bolton noted the trio intended to go "above and beyond", was recorded with tremendous energy and focus over two days. After its initial debut as an SNL Digital Short, the video was uploaded to YouTube and subsequently attained much online popularity. In addition to its status as a viral hit, the song has received positive reviews from many media commentators and reviewers.John Sparrow David Thompson
Sir John Sparrow David Thompson (November 10, 1845 – December 12, 1894) was a Canadian lawyer, judge, and politician who served as the fourth prime minister of Canada, in office from 1892 until his death. He had previously been premier of Nova Scotia for a brief period in 1882.
Thompson was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He trained as a lawyer, and was called to the bar in 1865. Thompson was elected to the Nova Scotia House of Assembly in 1877 as a representative of the Conservative Party. He became the provincial attorney general the following year, in Simon Holmes' government, replaced Holmes as premier in 1882. However, he served for only two months before losing the 1882 general election to the Liberal Party. After losing the premiership, he accepted an appointment to the Nova Scotia Supreme Court.
In 1885, Thompson entered federal politics at the personal request of Sir John A. Macdonald, becoming Minister of Justice. In that role he was the driving force behind the enactment of the Canadian Criminal Code. Thompson became prime minister in 1892, following the retirement of John Abbott. He was the first Roman Catholic to hold the position. On a trip to England in 1894, Thompson unexpectedly suffered a heart attack and died, aged 49. He is the second and most recent Canadian prime minister to have died in office, after Sir John A. Macdonald.Lark
Larks are passerine birds of the family Alaudidae. Larks have a cosmopolitan distribution with the largest number of species occurring in Africa. Only a single species, the horned lark, occurs in North America, and only Horsfield's bush lark occurs in Australia. Habitats vary widely, but many species live in dry regions.List of Pirates of the Caribbean characters
This is a list of characters appearing in the Pirates of the Caribbean film series.RIM-162 ESSM
The RIM-162 Evolved SeaSparrow Missile (ESSM) is a development of the RIM-7 Sea Sparrow missile used to protect ships from attacking missiles and aircraft. ESSM is designed to counter supersonic maneuvering anti-ship missiles. ESSM also has the ability to be "quad-packed" in the Mark 41 Vertical Launch System, allowing up to four ESSMs to be carried in a single cell.RIM-7 Sea Sparrow
RIM-7 Sea Sparrow is a U.S. ship-borne short-range anti-aircraft and anti-missile weapon system, primarily intended for defense against anti-ship missiles. The system was developed in the early 1960s from the AIM-7 Sparrow air-to-air missile as a lightweight "point-defense" weapon that could be retrofitted to existing ships as quickly as possible, often in place of existing gun-based anti-aircraft weapons. In this incarnation it was a very simple system, guided by a manually aimed radar illuminator.
After its introduction, the system underwent significant development into an automated system similar to other US Navy missiles like the RIM-2 Terrier. Improvements made to the Sparrow for the air-to-air role led to similar improvements in the Sea Sparrow through the 1970s and 80s. After that point the air-to-air role passed to the AIM-120 AMRAAM and the Sea Sparrow underwent a series of upgrades strictly for the naval role. It now resembles the AIM-7 only in general form; it is larger, faster and includes a new seeker and a launch system suitable for vertical launch from modern warships.
Fifty years after its development, the Sea Sparrow remains an important part of a layered air defense system, providing a short/medium-range component especially useful against sea-skimming missiles.Red Sparrow
Red Sparrow is a 2018 American spy thriller film directed by Francis Lawrence and written by Justin Haythe, based on the 2013 novel of the same name by Jason Matthews. The film stars Jennifer Lawrence, Joel Edgerton, Matthias Schoenaerts, Charlotte Rampling, Mary-Louise Parker, and Jeremy Irons. It tells the story of a Russian intelligence officer, who is sent to make contact with a CIA officer in the hope of discovering the identity of a mole.
Matthews, a former member of the CIA, advised the production on the depiction of spying. Based on historic Soviet sexpionage and contemporary Russian use of kompromat, filming took place in Hungary, Slovakia and Austria.
Red Sparrow premiered at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. on February 15, 2018, and was released in the United States on March 2, 2018. The film grossed $151 million worldwide, becoming a modest box-office success, and received mixed reviews from critics, who described it as having "more style than substance", and criticized the film's length and over-reliance on graphic violence and sex, while praising Jennifer Lawrence's performance.Song sparrow
The song sparrow (Melospiza melodia) is a medium-sized American sparrow. Among the native sparrows in North America, it is easily one of the most abundant, variable and adaptable species.Sparrow Records
Sparrow Records is a Christian music record label and a division of Universal Music Group.White-crowned sparrow
The white-crowned sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys) is a species of passerine bird native to North America. A medium-sized member of the American sparrow family, this species is marked by a grey face and black and white streaking on the upper head. It breeds in brushy areas in the taiga and tundra of the northernmost parts of the continent and in the Rocky Mountains and Pacific coast. While southerly populations in the Rocky Mountains and coast are largely resident, the breeding populations of the northerly part of its range are migratory and can be found as wintering or passage visitors through most of North America south to central Mexico.
Sparrows (family: Passeridae)
|In the arts|