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Author Topic:   Corvid ecologists
PaulK
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Message 16 of 29 (778109)
02-16-2016 4:29 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by Faith
02-16-2016 4:07 PM


You mean according to some of the sources Google found. If you read more carefully you will find that the basis of this claim is the Old World sparrows are closely related to weaver finches while the New World sparrows are not.

However, it seems clear to me that the term "sparrow" was originally applied to the Old World group (which is why they are also called "true sparrows"). So it would be more accurate to say that the New World sparrows aren't really sparrows.


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caffeine
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Message 17 of 29 (778112)
02-16-2016 4:39 PM
Reply to: Message 15 by caffeine
02-16-2016 4:25 PM


A bit of Google has answered my own questions. Encyclopaedia Britannica defines a weaver-finch as a member of the waxbill family Estrildidae. This is a tropical clade which is, according to Wikipedia, sometimes classed as a subfamily of the Passeridae. Still seems to me that calling house-sparrows weaver finches is confusing a topic already confusing enough.

'Sparrow', incidentally, is cognate with the Cornish word for 'crow' and the Greek word for 'starling'. Makes you realise why they invented the whole idea of scientific names in the first place!


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RAZD
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Message 18 of 29 (778360)
02-19-2016 2:25 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by PaulK
02-12-2016 3:28 PM


House sparrows are real sparrows (genus passer). ...

Curiously, in my book (NatGeo Field Guide to Birds of N. America) American sparrow species are on pages 386-407 in the "Grosbeaks, Buntings and Sparrows" section, and none of them are Family Passidae, while the Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus) and the European House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) are on page 432-433 under "weavers" between "weaver finches" and "finches" ... in the finch section of my book, with Tanagers and Orioles in between them: not closely related to American sparrows.

Both of them are introduced species and thus are not native, and certainly not American sparrows.

So I'll give you "weaver" as opposed to "weaver finches" (like the Java sparrow (Padda oryzivora), another introduced species).

One need only look at the nesting behavior (communal nests all woven together) to see that they are distinctly different from American sparrows. They are invasive, opportunistic, and mob bullies chasing away other birds, and taking over cavity nests from other American birds (blue birds, tree swallow, etc). They are destructive and worm their way into small opening in houses.

So I have little love for them.

Enjoy


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RAZD
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From: the other end of the sidewalk
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Message 19 of 29 (778362)
02-19-2016 2:37 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by caffeine
02-16-2016 3:14 PM


I think you've got muddled. Sparrow weavers are African birds closely related neither to sparrows nor to the birds you call sparrows in America.

My book calls them all "sparrows" and there are lots of native families and geni, all different from the introduced european and eurasian ones that are in the Weaver Finch\Weaver\Finch section as opposed to the Grosbeak\Bunting\Sparrow section for all the "birds you call sparrows in America." With Blackbirds, Orioles and Tanagers between them.

If this is muddled, it is so in my book "The National Geographic Field Guide to Birds of N. America" which I find difficult to accept.

But this is all aside form the Corvid ecologist issue.


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PaulK
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Message 20 of 29 (778363)
02-19-2016 3:32 PM
Reply to: Message 18 by RAZD
02-19-2016 2:25 PM


quote:

Curiously, in my book (NatGeo Field Guide to Birds of N. America) American sparrow species are on pages 386-407 in the "Grosbeaks, Buntings and Sparrows" section, and none of them are Family Passidae

The explanation is simple. American "sparrows" are not sparrows. They were likely called sparrows for their resemblance to the true sparrows, but that hardly gives them an exclusive claim to the name over the European birds.


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AZPaul3
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Message 21 of 29 (778368)
02-19-2016 3:55 PM
Reply to: Message 20 by PaulK
02-19-2016 3:32 PM


Inuder ezempal uh da Anglith nogh noin dare un langig.

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kjsimons
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From: Orlando,FL
Joined: 06-17-2003


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Message 22 of 29 (778369)
02-19-2016 3:57 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by RAZD
02-12-2016 8:32 AM


One of my favorite members of the Corvid family are the Florida Scrub Jays. The are extremely friendly and curious, landing near or on you to check you out if you wander into their territory. I've seem them hide acorns or pine nuts in a shallow hole then carefully covering them up and pulling leaves and other material over their stash.


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RAZD
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From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
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Message 23 of 29 (778444)
02-20-2016 8:53 AM
Reply to: Message 20 by PaulK
02-19-2016 3:32 PM


The explanation is simple. American "sparrows" are not sparrows. They were likely called sparrows for their resemblance to the true sparrows, but that hardly gives them an exclusive claim to the name over the European birds.

Or to true Scotsman ...

So "sparrow" is just a general nomenclature for small seed eating birds and has no real taxonomic basis.

Like "warbler" ... or "seagull" ...

The point remains that they are not welcome at my feeders ... neither are starlings, another greedy pest introduced from England, because they chase off and displace native species.

Enjoy


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
RebelAmerican☆Zen☯Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


• • • Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click) • • •

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RAZD
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Posts: 20332
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
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Message 24 of 29 (778445)
02-20-2016 8:53 AM
Reply to: Message 22 by kjsimons
02-19-2016 3:57 PM


One of my favorite members of the Corvid family are the Florida Scrub Jays. The are extremely friendly and curious, landing near or on you to check you out if you wander into their territory. I've seem them hide acorns or pine nuts in a shallow hole then carefully covering them up and pulling leaves and other material over their stash.

Exactly the behavior in the article that spreads forests into new areas.

I've seen similar with Canadian/Gray Jays (Perisoreus canadensis) and Steller's Jay (Cyanocitta stelleri), the latter taking bits of cheese from my hand and burying them in sand.

Enjoy


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
RebelAmerican☆Zen☯Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


• • • Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click) • • •

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PaulK
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Message 25 of 29 (778465)
02-20-2016 11:06 AM
Reply to: Message 23 by RAZD
02-20-2016 8:53 AM


quote:

So "sparrow" is just a general nomenclature for small seed eating birds and has no real taxonomic basis

Most common bird names have more to do with resemblance than taxonomy. However, the term "sparrow" is not completely divorced from taxonomy. Which is why we say that the House Sparrow is a sparrow while the "Hedge Sparrow" is not.


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Tanypteryx
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From: Oregon, USA
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Message 26 of 29 (779343)
03-03-2016 3:30 PM


I hate common names for organisms; Dragonflies, Birds, Bugs. If they were common everyone would know them.

This is my backyard Corvid, a Western Scrub-Jay, Aphelocoma californica, that comes to my photo workshop door and begs for peanuts. It is from a 2015 brood and I noticed when it first started coming to the feeders on the patio that it did not startle when it could see me moving around through the sliding door. After a couple weeks of moving the peanuts closer to the door and then inside it has gotten more gutsy. It is still very wary and I have to sit perfectly still.


What if Eleanor Roosevelt had wings? -- Monty Python

One important characteristic of a theory is that is has survived repeated attempts to falsify it. Contrary to your understanding, all available evidence confirms it. --Subbie

If evolution is shown to be false, it will be at the hands of things that are true, not made up. --percy


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ramoss
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Message 27 of 29 (779497)
03-04-2016 10:39 PM
Reply to: Message 26 by Tanypteryx
03-03-2016 3:30 PM


When we moved into the area I live in now, back oh about 50 years ago now, my mother was walking around the reservoir across the road from our house, and went back to my father and said 'Guess what I saw. I saw some Ranunculus abortivus. ' My father looked at her puzzled and said 'Buttercup???

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jar
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From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.6


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Message 28 of 29 (779504)
03-05-2016 8:23 AM


From A Canticle for Leibowitz
""His desire to profess his final and perpetual vows - was it not akin to the motive of the cat who became an ornithologist? - so that he might glorify his own ornithophagy, esoterically devouring Penthestes atricapillus but never eating chickadees."

Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

  
Astrophile
Member (Idle past 221 days)
Posts: 80
From: United Kingdom
Joined: 02-10-2014


Message 29 of 29 (780879)
03-25-2016 6:18 PM
Reply to: Message 23 by RAZD
02-20-2016 8:53 AM


neither are starlings, another greedy pest introduced from England, because they chase off and displace native species.

So that's where they've gone. Forty years ago there used to be great flocks of starlings where I live, but now they've disappeared; it's years since I saw a single one.


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