424. HOUSE SPARROW.
Passer domesticus (Linn.), Syst. Nat. i. p. 323 (1766) ; (Naum.) iv. p. 253 ; Taf. 115 ; Hewitson, i. p. 209, pl. liii. figs. 3, 4 ; (Gould), B. of E. iii. pl. 184 ; id. B. of (it. Brit. iii. pl. 32 ; Newton, ii. p. 89 ; Dresser, iii. p. 587, pl. 170, fig. 1 ; Sharpe, Cat. B. Br. Mus. xii. p. 307 ; Oates, F. Brit. Ind. Birds, ii. p. 236 ; Saunders, p. 179 ; Lilford, iv. p. 42, pl. 21.
Moineau domestique, French ; Pardal, Portug. ; Gorrion, Span. ; Haussperling, German. ; Musch, Dutch. ; Graaspurv, Dan. and Norw. ; Hussparf, Swed. ; Kotivarpunen, Finn. ; Domaschnik-vorobey, Russ. ; Gouriya, Churi, Hind.
Male ad. (Turkey). Crown, nape, lower back, rump, and upper tail-coverts ashy grey, the latter tinged with brown ; lores black ; a broad streak on the side of the head joining and broadening on the hind-neck chestnut-red ; mantle chestnut, varied with sandy ochreous and streaked with black ; wings and tail blackish margined with rufous, rufous buff, and greyish buff ; a white band across the wing ; sides of the head and of the neck white ; chin and throat deep black ; rest of the under parts greyish white, breast and flanks washed with ashy grey, and abdomen and under tail-coverts faintly tinged with buff ; bill blank ; legs light brown ; iris dark brown. Culmen 0.48, wing 2.9, tail 2.38, tarsus 0.77 inch. In the winter the plumage is duller and the bill brownish grey, the lower mandible fleshy yellow at the base. The female and young lack the black on the throat, have the upper parts dusty brown marked with blackish and dull buff, the under parti, brownish ash, darker on the flanks, and the bill, like the male’s in winter, but rather paler.
Hab. Europe generally, except in Italy, where it is replaced by P. italioe ; Asia Minor, and across Siberia, following the post roads ; Persia. India east to Cochin-China, and Ceylon, where it is smaller and paler (P. indicus auctt.) ; N. Africa.
It has been introduced into distant countries as it possibly was into Europe, and has made itself quite at home in New Zealand and the United States, where it is by no means an unmixed blessing.
Eminently gregarious in its habits it is able to adapt itself almost anywhere, and is as much at home in a smoky manu¬facturing town as it is in the country. It is very omnivorous in its tastes and will feed on almost anything, grain, seed, insects, fruit, refuse cast out of the kitchen, &c., &c., but the young are fed on caterpillars and larvae. Its note is a lively chirp, and it has no regular song. The nest is rather a bulky structure of grass-bents, straw, moss, &c., well lined with feathers or any soft material, and is placed on a branch, in the hole of a tree or wall, amongst ivy, under the eaves of a roof or any other suitable place ; the eggs, usually from 4 to 6 in number, are greyish white more or less marked with grey shell and brown¬ish black or greyish black surface-spots and blotches, in size averaging about 0.88 by 0.61. Two, three, or even four broods are reared in the season.
424. Passer domesticus
424. HOUSE SPARROW.