OW Sparrows, Finches and Wagtails

The first gallery features images Old World sparrows (Passeridae), while the second displays Finches (Fringillidae) and Wagtails (Motacillidae) see Taxonomy note at the end of this page. These birds are specialised seed eaters but also supplement their diet with insects and other invertebrates. Habitats include grassy and shrubby areas. Bill shape varies according to primary food source ranging from sharp to rounded. Some species feed on the ground while other perch or hang on plants.

OW Sparrows

OW Sparrow Notes

All the species featured in the gallery are ‘Red List 2019’ assessed as ‘Least Concern’. Eurasian Tree Sparrows and House Sparrows are a seed-eating specialist at home in open country, villages and urban areas. Only the house sparrow is plumage dimorphic.

Finches and Wagtails

Finch and Wagtail Notes

The ‘red list 2019’ of threatened species lists all the featured species as ‘Least Concern’. Old World sparrows inhabit the Palearctic and Afrotropic ecoregions. Finches populate most regions of the world except for Australasia, although there are some introduced resident species in this region. Wagtails, including the White Wagtail (Motacilla alba), are mostly African or Eurasian species with a few in the Americas. The Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii), a darker subspecies inhabits the British Isles.

Euphonia part of the finch family but only found in South America. I photographed a couple of finch species in New Zealand where they seem to be more numerous than some indigenous birds. Apart from the Goldfinch, the other displayed species exhibit plumage dimorphism.

Euphonia Behaviour

Euphonia Behaviour Notes

Images of male and female Violaceous Euphonia feeding at Asa Wright Nature Centre in Trinidad.

Ow Sparrows, Wagtails, and Finches Taxonomy

The simplified family tree figure illustrates the taxonomy relevant to Old World Sparrows, Wagtails, and Finches photo album.

J Boyd’s Taxonomy in Flux Checklist places the Passerid Clade in Core Passeroidea, the featured photo album families include:
(a) Passeridae (Old World Sparrows),
(b) Motacillidae (Wagtails and Pipits),
(c) and Fringillidae (Finches).
Motacillidae and Fringillidae are Basal group members of the Nine-primaried Oscines.

The Finches gallery features images from Fringillinae (Chaffinches basal group), subfamilies Euphoniinae (Euphonias) and Carduelinae.