|Sparrow refers to any of a number of small, chiefly seed-eating birds having conical bills. The name sparrow is most firmly attached to birds of the family Ploceidae (order Passeriformes), particularly to the house sparrow (Passer domesticus (L.)) that is so common in temperate North America and Europe, but also to many members of the Fringillidae.
The House Sparrow is distributed worldwide (excluding the Poles). It is native to Eurasia and North Africa. It was introduced into South Africa, South America, Australia, New Zealand, and America. Its introduction into North America occured in 1851, when a group of 100 birds from England was released in Brooklyn, New York.
House sparrows are a rude, quarrelsome, noisy and gregarious lot. They often live together in trees. The bird is a stout, stocky sparrow, with shorter legs and a thicker bill than indigenous American sparrows. Members of both sexes are brown backed with black streaks throughout this area. Its underside is pale buff. Males have white cheeks and a black bib, while females do not. The tail is usually three-quarters the length of the wing.
House sparrows eat various kinds of seed supplemented by some insects. Rural birds tend to eat more waste seed from animal dung and seed from fields, while urban birds tend to eat more commercial birdseed and weed seed. Studies of the contents of house sparrow stomachs in Alabama, Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, and Vermont of the USA have shown approximate amounts of seed to be 60% livestock feed (corn, wheat, oats, etc.), 18% cereals (grains from storage or from fields), 17 % weed seed, and 4% insects.
House sparrows form monogamous pairs for each breeding season. Nests are built between February and May. House sparrows nest in crevices inside and on buildings, and in coniferous and deciduous trees. Nests are built from dried vegetation, feathers, strings, and paper. Eggs are layed at any time in the nesting period. One to eight eggs can be present in a clutch, with the possiblity of four clutches per nesting season. Incubation begins after all the eggs have been layed. Both males and females incubate the eggs for short periods of a few minutes each. Incubation lasts for 10 to 14 days. After the eggs are hatched, both males and females feed the young through regurgitation.
House sparrows tend to forage for food on the ground, using a hopping movement when not in flight. Their flight is direct, with continued flapping and no periods of gliding.
House sparrows aggressively protect a small teritorry just around their nesting site. This is believed to be strictly a protection of the nest site, and not of any feeding areas. Sparrows have been observed to threaten, and if necessary, attack 70 species of birds that have come into their nesting territory. These attacks seem to be intrasexual, males attack males and females attack only females.
House sparrows like areas that have been modified by humans, including farms, residential, and urban areas. They are absent from uninhabited woodlands, deserts, forests, and grasslands.
Due to its preference for human-modified habitats, the house sparrow is considered a nuisance species, a competitor of native birds, and an agricultural pest. Large aggregations around buildings produce annoying noise and large quantities of feces.
Many hawks and owls hunt and feed on house sparrows. Known predators of nesting young or eggs include cats, dogs, raccoons, and many snakes.
The Chinese have discovered that the sparrow's meat is warming to the body and have used it to treat impotence and premature ejaculation.
|Sparrow is traditionally used to treat impotence, aching pain in the loins and knees, frequent urination, metrorrhagia, polyuria, hernia (protrusion of an organ or part through connective tissue or through a wall of the cavity in which it is normally enclosed), pertusis (whooping cough), etc.
1. For the infirm, aged and lack of yang principle:
Kill several sparrows. Treat and clean as usual. Eliminate the inner viscera, except the liver. Dip into boiling water for 1 minute. Use 250 ml vegetable oil and heat to almost boiling. Oil fry sparrows until brown in colour. Then put in a pot. Add millet wine and water. Boil for 10 minutes. Place 150 g rice (or millet) to make porridge. When porridge is ready, add salt and other flavourings. Eat the porridge as one likes.
2. For impotence and premature ejaculation:
Soak 6 routinely treated sparrows in 1,000 ml millet wine, and add 20 g fruit of Chinese wolfberry. Immerse for 7 days. Drink 1-2 small cups of wine each day.
3. For pertusis (whooping cough):
Treat a sparrow as usual and simmer with 9 g rock sugar to well done. Consume once daily.