Sparrows, Finches and Wagtails

The first gallery features images Old World sparrows (Passeridae), while the second displays finches (Fringillidae) and wagtails (Motacillidae) see Taxonomic Classification These birds are specialised seed eaters but also supplement their diet with insects and other invertebrates. Habitats include grassy and shrubby areas. Bill shape varies according to primary food source ranging from sharp to rounded. Some species feed on the ground while other perch or hang on plants.


Sparrow Notes

All featured species are ‘Red List 2019’ assessed as ‘Least Concern’. Two Old World species feature in the gallery; the Eurasian tree sparrow and house sparrow. The house sparrows are plumage dimorphic.  Sparrows are a seed-eating specialist at home in open country, villages and urban areas.

Finches and Wagtails

Finch and Wagtail Notes

All featured species are ‘Red List 2019’ assessed as ‘Least Concern’. Old World sparrows inhabit the  Palearctic and Afrotropic ecoregions. Finches populate most regions of the world except for Australasia, although there are some introduced resident species in this region. Wagtails are mostly African or Eurasian species with a few in the Americas.

Euphonia part of the finch family but only found in South America. I photographed a couple of finch species in New Zealand where they seem to be more numerous than some indigenous birds. Apart from the goldfinch, the other displayed species exhibit plumage dimorphism.

Euphonia Behaviour

Euphonia Behaviour Notes

Images of male and female Violaceous Euphonia feeding at Asa Wright Nature Centre in Trinidad.

Sparrow, Wagtail, and Finch Taxonomy

The Core Passeroidea includes families from the Passerid Clade. The featured families are:

(a) Passeridae (Old World sparrows);

(b) Motacillidae (wagtails) and Fringillidae (Old World finches); they are Basal Group members from the Nine-primaried Oscines.

The gallery that features Old World finches includes two subfamilies; Fringillinae (Chaffinches and Euphoniinae (Euphonias) together with tribe Carduelini (Canaries, Siskins and allies).

The Passerida Photo Albums webpage gives an overview of applicable Aves High-level Classification.