This article is about the Old World sparrows in the family Passeridae. The closely related finches of the equatorial regions and Australasia are often also classed as members of the Passeridae: for these see estrildid finch. American sparrows are not closely related, and these are placed in the family Emberizidae along with the buntings. The Hedge Sparrow or Dunnock (Prunella modularis) is a sparrow in name only, a relic of the medieval practice by which any small bird was called "sparrow". Sparrows are small passerine birds. There are 35 species in the Old World sparrow family Passeridae. The differences between different species of sparrow can be very subtle; in general, sparrows tend to be small plump brownish or greyish birds with short tails and short powerful beaks.














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Sparrows are seed-eaters, and they also consume small insects. A few species scavenge for food around cities, and like seagulls they will happily eat virtually anything in small quantities. Old World sparrows are found naturally in Europe, Africa and Asia. They do not occur naturally in Australia or the Americas, but the early settlers imported some species into these continents, and they quickly naturalised, particularly in urban and degraded areas. House Sparrows are now found throughout North America, in every state of Australia except for Western Australia, and over much of heavily populated parts of South America. Eurasian Tree Sparrows are also present, but unlike the House Sparrow, are not a serious pest.


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