sparrows are a family of small birds, the Passeridae. They are also known as true sparrows, or Old World sparrows. They are distinct from the American sparrows which although similar in appearance are placed in the family Emberozidae. They are primarily seed-eaters, though they also consume small insects.

The differences between sparrow species can be subtle. Sparrows are physically similar to other seed-eating birds, such as finches, but have a vestigial dorsal outer primary feather and an extra bone in the tongue. This bone, the preglossale, helps stiffen the tongue when holding seeds. Other adaptations towards eating seeds are specialized bills and elongated and specialized alimentary canals.