(DJW Note: the last word "permission" is variously omitted, or substituted with other more clumsy phrases). But the biblical reference still stands as worthy of quoting.
Matthew Ch 10, V 29.
My point is simple: I found a freshly killed Sparrow in the middle of the Illawarra Highway, in Robertson, today. It cried out to be examined and photographed, for several reasons.
Firstly, Sparrows are a subject of reference in the Bible, and in later literature:
"Jesus's use of "sparrows" as an example of divine providence in the Gospel of Matthew also inspired later references, such as that in Shakespeare's Hamlet and the Gospel hymn His Eye Is on the Sparrow."
So, the figure of God the Father (or the "Creator") ought be pleased that at least this little Sparrow's life has not been shed completely in vain. I can at least use it for education purposes.
Secondly, under the Linnaean "binomial" system of taxonomic classification, the humble Sparrow (Passer domesticus) became, because of its familiarity to European scientists of the day, the "benchmark" for small perching birds (or "songbirds") - known today as Passerines (literally Sparrow-like birds).
The Sparrow was one of the first birds to be named by Linnaeus, in 1758, and almost certainly, one of the first to have its name changed by virtue of a taxonomic revision (something familiar to Australian Orchid enthusiasts).
- "The House Sparrow was among the first animals to be given a scientific name in the modern system of biological classification, since it was described by Carl Linnaeus, in the 1758 10th edition of Systema Naturae. It was described from a type specimen collected in Sweden, with the name Fringilla domestica. Later the genus name Fringilla came to be used only for the Chaffinch and its relatives, and the House Sparrow has usually been placed in the genus Passer created by French zoologist Mathurin Jacques Brisson in 1760."
|Head of House Sparrow|
massive wedge-shaped beak shows it is a seed eater.
Compare beak shape with the insectivorous Rufous Songlark below.
|Feet structure of Sparrow.|
three toes forward, and one large toe facing to the rear.
This structure if described as "Anisodactyly"
|Plain patterns on wing of the female Sparrow|
A successful camouflage colouring,.
|Small "Brood patch" on this female Sparrow|
Its presence indicates she has had a brood of chicks this year.
However, the fact that the brood patch is so small,
indicates she is not still sitting on eggs of young chicks.
Hopefully her young are able to survive with help of the father.
|Head of Rufous Songlark - |
clearly an insectivorous species.
Note the sharp pointed beak,
Suitable for probing for insects.
It is not a seed-cracking beak.
(ignore the shadow, if you can)