Life Histories of North American Blackbirds, Orioles, Tanagers, and Allies. Order: Order: Passeriformes; Families: Ploceidae, Icteridae, and Thraupidae

Life Histories of North American Blackbirds, Orioles, Tanagers, and Allies. Order: Order: Passeriformes; Families: Ploceidae, Icteridae, and Thraupidae

Life Histories of North American Blackbirds, Orioles, Tanagers, and Allies. Order: Order: Passeriformes; Families: Ploceidae, Icteridae, and Thraupidae

Life Histories of North American Blackbirds, Orioles, Tanagers, and Allies. Order: Order: Passeriformes; Families: Ploceidae, Icteridae, and Thraupidae

Excerpt

By ARTHUR CLEVELAND BENT

Order PASSERIFORMES: Family PLOCEIDAE, Weaver Finches

PASSER DOMESTICUS DOMESTICUS (Linnaeus)
English Sparrow

HABITS

The common name English sparrow is a misnomer, but it has stuck to this bird for some hundred years and is likely to survive indefinitely. It was quite natural to call it the English sparrow, as most of the birds were imported from England, but the species is widely distributed in Europe and Asia, with closely related forms in North Africa. For a full account of its distribution and geographical variations the reader is referred to an excellent paper on the subject by Dr. John C. Phillips (1915). And, after calling it a sparrow for these many years, and our commonest and best known sparrow at that, we must recognize it as a weaver finch and separate it widely from our sparrows in the A. O. U. Check-List. Who wants to call it the European weaver finch? The scientific name has not been changed, for which we may be truly thankful!

Many years ago, when I was a small boy, probably in the late 1860's or early 1870's, my uncle, who lived next door to us in Taunton, was the first to introduce English sparrows into that immediate vicinity. He built a large flying cage in his garden that was roofed over, covered with netting on four sides, and well supplied with perches and nesting boxes. Here the sparrows were so well fed and cared for that they soon began to breed. It was not long before the cage became overcrowded, and he ordered his coachman to put up . . .

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