New World sparrow

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New World sparrow
White-crowned sparrow
Zonotrichia leucophrys
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Superfamily: Emberizoidea
Family: Passerellidae
Cabanis, 1851

New World sparrows are a group of mainly New World passerine birds, forming the family Passerellidae. They are seed-eating birds with conical bills, brown or gray in color, and many species have distinctive head patterns.

Although they share the name sparrow, New World sparrows are more closely related to Old World buntings than they are to the Old World sparrows (family Passeridae).[1][2] New World sparrows are also similar in both appearance and habit to finches, with which they sometimes used to be classified.




























Phylogeny based on a 2016 study by Bryson and colleagues.[3][a]

The genera now assigned to the family Passerellidae were previously included with the buntings in the family Emberizidae. A phylogenetic analysis of nuclear and mitochondrial DNA sequences published in 2015 found that the Passerellidae formed a monophyletic group that had an uncertain relationship to the Emberizidae.[4] Emberizidae was therefore split and the family Passerellidae resurrected.[5][6] It had originally been introduced, as the subfamily Passerellinae, by the German ornithologist Jean Cabanis in 1851.[7]

The International Ornithological Congress (IOC) recognizes these 138 species in the family, distributed among 29 genera in the following sequence.[8] One extinct species, the Bermuda towhee, is included. The North American and South American classification committees of the American Ornithological Society (AOS) do not recognize all of these species and use some different common names.[9][10]

Genus Oreothraupis

Genus Chlorospingus

Genus Rhynchospiza

Genus Peucaea

Genus Ammodramus

Genus Arremonops

Genus Amphispiza

Genus Chondestes

Genus Calamospiza

Genus Spizella

Genus Arremon

Genus Passerella

Genus Spizelloides

Genus Junco

Genus Zonotrichia

Genus Artemisiospiza

Genus Oriturus

Genus Pooecetes

Genus Ammospiza

Genus Centronyx

Genus Passerculus

Genus Xenospiza

Genus Melospiza

Genus Pezopetes

Genus Torreornis

Genus Melozone

Genus Aimophila

Genus Pipilo

Genus Atlapetes


  1. ^ Species in three monotypic genera were not sampled in the study: the Sierra Madre sparrow (Xenospiza baileyi), the Zapata sparrow (Torreornis inexpectata) and the tanager finch (Oreothraupis arremonops)[3]


  1. ^ Allende, Luis M.; Rubio, Isabel; Ruíz-del-Valle, Valentin; Guillén, Jesus; Martínez-Laso, Jorge; Lowy, Ernesto; Varela, Pilar; Zamora, Jorge; Arnaiz-Villena, Antonio (2001). "The Old World sparrows (genus Passer) phylogeography and their relative abundance of nuclear mtDNA pseudogenes" (PDF). Journal of Molecular Evolution. 53 (2): 144–154. Bibcode:2001JMolE..53..144A. CiteSeerX doi:10.1007/s002390010202. PMID 11479685. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 July 2011.
  2. ^ Arnaiz-Villena, A; Gómez-Prieto P; Ruiz-de-Valle V (2009). "Phylogeography of finches and sparrows". Animal Genetics. Nova Science Publishers. ISBN 978-1-60741-844-3. Archived from the original on 2012-09-02. Retrieved 2014-12-05.
  3. ^ a b Bryson, R.W.; Faircloth, B.C.; Tsai, W.L.E.; McCormack, J.E.; Klicka, J. (2016). "Target enrichment of thousands of ultraconserved elements sheds new light on early relationships within New World sparrows (Aves: Passerellidae)". The Auk. 133 (3): 451–458. doi:10.1642/AUK-16-26.1.
  4. ^ Barker, F.K.; Burns, K.J.; Klicka, J.; Lanyon, S.M.; Lovette, I.J. (2015). "New insights into New World biogeography: An integrated view from the phylogeny of blackbirds, cardinals, sparrows, tanagers, warblers, and allies". Auk. 132 (2): 333–348. doi:10.1642/AUK-14-110.1.
  5. ^ Gill, Frank; Donsker, David; Rasmussen, Pamela, eds. (2020). "New World Sparrows, Bush Tanagers". IOC World Bird List Version 10.1. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 29 May 2020.
  6. ^ Chesser, R. Terry; Burns, Kevin J.; Cicero, Carla; Dunn, John L.; Kratter, Andrew W; Lovette, Irby J; Rasmussen, Pamela C.; Remsen, J.V. Jr; Rising, James D.; Stotz, Douglas F.; Winker, Kevin (2017). "Fifty-eighth supplement to the American Ornithological Society's Check-list of North American Birds". Auk. 134 (3): 751–773. doi:10.1642/AUK-17-72.1.
  7. ^ Cabanis, Jean (1850–1851). Museum Heineanum : Verzeichniss der ornithologischen Sammlung des Oberamtmann Ferdinand Heine, auf Gut St. Burchard vor Halberstadt (in German and Latin). Volume 1. Halberstadt: R. Frantz. p. 131. |volume= has extra text (help)
  8. ^ Gill, F.; Donsker, D.; Rasmussen, P. (January 2021). "IOC World Bird List (v 11.1)". Retrieved January 14, 2021.
  9. ^ "Check-list of North and Middle American Birds". American Ornithological Society. July 2019. Retrieved July 31, 2019.
  10. ^ Remsen, J. V., Jr., J. I. Areta, E. Bonaccorso, S. Claramunt, A. Jaramillo, J. F. Pacheco, C. Ribas, M. B. Robbins, F. G. Stiles, D. F. Stotz, and K. J. Zimmer. Version 11 February 2020. A classification of the bird species of South America. American Ornithological Society. retrieved February 12, 2020

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