Wednesday, August 04, 2010
OLD WORLD BUNTINGS AND NEW WORLD SPARROWS (EMBERIZIDAE):
The Emberizidae or Old World Buntings and New World Sparrows are a diverse and complicated Family of Birds. At present, what this Family is in flux. What is under discussion is which Birds belong to the Family of Old World Buntings and New World Sparrows.
However some things can apply to all of the Emberizidae. In Europe, these Birds are called “Buntings”. Meanwhile in North America, They are known as “American Sparrows” and include Juncos. Adding to the confusion is that Buntings in the Americas usually belong to the Cardinal-Grosbeak (Cardinalidae) Family. Also, Sparrows of the Old World belong to the Passeridae Family. (American Sparrows were named that because of their resemblance to these Old World Passeridae.)
Old World Buntings and New World Sparrows are usually not very colorful or flashy. Often known as “Little Brown Jobs”, Emberizidae are generally not welcomed at Bird feeders since people prefer more colorful and charismatic Birds. Victims of mistaken identity, Emberizidae go about their business. We may be confused about Them but these Birds know who they are.
Appearances can be deceiving, which leads to confusion, but the Emberizidae rise above it all. They teach people not to jump to conclusions, since these Birds are not really what people once thought they were. Now many people are confused over what a “Sparrow” or a “Bunting” really is. Instead of jumping to conclusions, employ careful thought. Remember that when you see a “Sparrow” in North America.