Passer montanus (Linn.), Syst. Nat. i. p. 324, (1706) ; (Naum.) iv. p. 480, Taf. 116, figs. 1, 2 ; Hewitson, i. p. 207, pl. liii. figs. 1, 2 ; (Gould), B. of E. iii. pl. 184 ; id. B. of Gt. Brit. iii. pl. 33 ; Dresser, iii. p. 597, pl. 178 ; Sharpe, Cat. B. Br. Mus. xii. p. 301 ; Newton, i. p. 82 ; Saunders, p. 181 ; Lilford, iv. p. 44, pl. 22.
Friquet, French ; Gorrion serrano, Span. ; Passera mattugia, Ital. ; Feldsperling, German ; Ringmusch, Dutch ; Skovspurv, Dan. ; Pilfinke, Norw. ; Pilfink, Swed. ; Ketovarpunen, Finn : Polevoi vorobey, Russ ; Suzume, Jap.
Male ad. (England). Differs from P. domesticus in having the crown, nape, and hind-neck coppery red ; a large black patch on each side of the head below the ear, and two distinct white bands across the wing ; bill black ; legs light brown ; iris dark brown. Culmen 0.45, wing 2.8, tail 2.25, tarsus 0.7 inch. In the winter the plumage is a trifle greyer, the black feathers on the throat have whitish edges, and the bill is reddish grey at the base below. The female is slightly duller, the chin and upper throat alone are black, slightly marked with white, and the breast and flanks are washed with brown.
Hab. Europe generally, except in Portugal ; Great Britain even to the Outer Hebrides ; Sweden common to Upland, thence rarely to 68° 30' N. Lat. ; Norway as far north as east and west Finmark ; Asia through Siberia to Japan ; Asia Minor, Persia, Turkestan, Afghanistan, the Himalayas to Assam, Burmah, China, and the Malay peninsula and Philip¬pines, to Java ; somewhat rare in N. Africa ; has been introduced into N. America.
In Europe it is not so often found near habitations as it is in the fields and groves, whereas in the east it takes the place of our House-sparrow, and is found chiefly about human habita¬tions. It is as gregarious as P. domesticus, and quite as active and cheerful, though scarcely so noisy. Its note is also similar but somewhat softer and more agreeable, and the male has a regular song. It feeds on seeds of various kinds, chiefly those of noxious weeds, and its young are fed on caterpillars and various kinds of insects. For the purposes of nidification it selects with us the hollow of a tree or a hole in a wall, though in Eastern Asia it builds in preference in a house, usually under the eaves. Its nest resembles that of P. domesticus and is also carefully lined with feathers, but is smaller. The eggs resemble those of P. domesticus but are, as a rule, darker and smaller measuring about 0.73 by 0.55. Two or even three broods are reared in the season.
430. Passer montanus