Photograph by Iva Villi
Some authorities also classify the closely related estrildid finches of the equatorial regions and Australasia as members of the Passeridae. Like the true sparrows, the estrildid finches are small, gregarious, and often colonial seed-eaters with short, thick, but pointed bills. They are broadly similar in structure and habits, but tend to be very colourful and vary greatly in their plumage. About 140 species are native to the old world tropics and Australasia. Most taxonomic schemes list the estrildid finches as the separate family Estrildidae, leaving just the true sparrows in Passeridae.
American sparrows, or New World sparrows, are not closely related to the true sparrows, despite some physical resemblance, such as the seed-eaters bill and frequently well-marked heads. They are in the family Emberizidae.
The Hedge Sparrow or Dunnock (Prunella modularis) is similarly unrelated. It is a sparrow in name only, a relic of the old practice of calling any small bird a "sparrow".
Sparrows are small passerine birds. The differences between species can be subtle; in general, sparrows tend to be small plump brownish or greyish birds with short tails and stubby powerful beaks.
Sparrows are primarily seed-eaters, though they also consume small insects. A few species scavenge for food around cities, and like gulls or pigeons will happily eat virtually anything in small quantities.
The Old World true sparrows are found indigenously in Europe, Africa and Asia. In Australia and the Americas, early settlers imported some species which quickly naturalised, particularly in urban and degraded areas. House Sparrows, for example, are now found throughout North America, in every state of Australia except Western Australia, and over much of heavily populated parts of South America.
I thought that this must have been possible when I was developing the previous demonstration, but I didn't quite manage to get it to work.
However, after much trial and error, here it is . . . . well not quite, an automatically expanding image that will not reduce after reaching full size whilst the mouse is in the box. DYNAMIC CSS!!
I said 'well not quite' because IE5.5, IE6 and IE7 cannot quite manage the dynamic bit.
If you are using Firefox or Opera v8.54 the just touch any border of the miniature image and see what happens.
IE5.5, IE6 and IE7 users will need to move the mouse into the miniature image box to see the effect.
This works in Firefox and Opera v8.54, and almost makes it in IE5.5, IE6, IE7 and Opera 9.1. Again, feedback on other browsers would be appreciated.
I know it's a bit of a hack and doesn't quite make it in IE, but we now have dynamic CSS. Let's see how far we can take it.
Because of all the time and effort spent in producing this demonstration I would ask that you respect my copyright.
Your donations keep CSS PLAY running.
If your donation is for the use of a demo then please email me with the demo url after making your donation.