Sparrows, Towhees, Juncos

The family Emberizidae includes the New-World Sparrows, the Towhees and the Junco.  The Sparrows are believed to have evolved in North and South America before spreading out to most of the rest of the world except Australia.  At one time they were categorized as part of the Finch family.  They are small birds with rather dull plumage, streaked with brown, black and white.  Their coloring helps to camouflage them in the field.  The males, however, sometimes have rather striking plumage, and colors especially, on their heads. All of them have cone shaped bills used to eat seeds, but they will also eat insects.  Many of these birds are social and live in flocks.

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