Canon EOS 50D, @200mm, 1/2000sec, F/5.6, ISO-800
Location: Egmond aan Zee, Netherlands, Europe on July 4/2012
The sparrows are a family of small passerine birds, Passeridae. They are also known as true sparrows, or Old World sparrows, names also used for a genus of the family, Passer. Generally, sparrows are small, plump, brown-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.