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Passerine Collection

Passerine birds, also known as perching birds, encompass a diverse range of species that captivate us with their beauty and behavior

Background imagePasserine Collection: Tui (young and adult)

Tui (young and adult)
Tui, Prosthemadera novaeseelandiae novaeseelandiae (young and adult). Artwork by JG Keulemans from Sir Walter Lawry Bullers A History of the Birds of New Zealand, Vol.1 Plate 10 Date: 1888

Background imagePasserine Collection: Starling murmuration, hundreds of thousands of starlings (Sturnus vulgaris)

Starling murmuration, hundreds of thousands of starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) gather in the skies near their night time roost. Gretna Green, Scotland, January

Background imagePasserine Collection: Starling murmuration

Starling murmuration
Large common starling (Sturnus vulgaris) murmuration in the evening before roosting. Photographed near Yeruham, Negev, Israel

Background imagePasserine Collection: New Zealand Fantail (Melanistic var. on left)

New Zealand Fantail (Melanistic var. on left)
New Zealand Fantail Piwakawaka, Rhipidura fuliginosa (Melanistic variety on left). Artwork by JG Keulemans from Sir Walter Lawry Bullers A History of the Birds of New Zealand, Vol.1 Plate 8 Date: 1888

Background imagePasserine Collection: Erythrura gouldiae, Gouldian finch

Erythrura gouldiae, Gouldian finch
Plate 89, hand coloured lithograph by John and Elizabeth Gould from John Goulds The Birds of Australia, Vol. 3, (1840-1848)

Background imagePasserine Collection: Long-tailed tit

Long-tailed tit (Aegithalos caudatus) perching on a branch. This bird is very small, with a length of only 13-15 centimetres including its very long tail. It is found in most of Europe and Asia

Background imagePasserine Collection: Eurasian bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula) male on a branch feeding on Rowan (Sorbus

Eurasian bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula) male on a branch feeding on Rowan (Sorbus aucuparia) berries, Leon, Spain, February

Background imagePasserine Collection: Jay (Garrulus glandarius), two fighting in mid-air with another observing. Norway. October

Jay (Garrulus glandarius), two fighting in mid-air with another observing. Norway. October

Background imagePasserine Collection: Common starling (Sturnus vulgaris) murmuration, flock pursued by Peregrine falcon

Common starling (Sturnus vulgaris) murmuration, flock pursued by Peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) before landing at winter roost. The Netherlands. February 2020

Background imagePasserine Collection: Whinchat (Saxicola rubetra), male perched, Finland, May

Whinchat (Saxicola rubetra), male perched, Finland, May

Background imagePasserine Collection: Old male Asian Paradise Flycatcher Watercolour

Old male Asian Paradise Flycatcher Watercolour
Original watercolour drawings and illustrated MS relating to Indian Birds, forming one of a set of volumes from which the illustrated MS work by Tickell on Mammals, &c

Background imagePasserine Collection: European starling flock

European starling flock. Flock of european starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) being chased by a hawk. The formation of large wheeling flocks, which can contain thousands of individuals

Background imagePasserine Collection: Jay -Garrulus glandarius- perched on a tree stump, Fischen, Allgau, Bavaria, Germany

Jay -Garrulus glandarius- perched on a tree stump, Fischen, Allgau, Bavaria, Germany

Background imagePasserine Collection: Hirundo rustica, barn swallow

Hirundo rustica, barn swallow
Plate 89 from Sir William Jardines The Naturalists Library. Original Drawings. Birds

Background imagePasserine Collection: European starling flock

European starling flock
European starling (Sturnus vulgaris) flock. These dense flocks of European starlings, which can contain thousands of individuals, are most often seen at twilight. Photographed in Rome, Italy

Background imagePasserine Collection: Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis) male on Bluebird Crossing sign, Marion Co. IL

Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis) male on Bluebird Crossing sign, Marion Co. IL

Background imagePasserine Collection: American Goldfinch (Carduelis tristis) male in Dogwood Tree (Cornus florida), Marion Co

American Goldfinch (Carduelis tristis) male in Dogwood Tree (Cornus florida), Marion Co. IL

Background imagePasserine Collection: Blue Tit (Parus caeruleus) adult, perched on larch cones, Suffolk, England, February

Blue Tit (Parus caeruleus) adult, perched on larch cones, Suffolk, England, February

Background imagePasserine Collection: Troglodytes troglodytes, winter wren

Troglodytes troglodytes, winter wren
Plate 118 from William MacGillivrays Watercolour drawings of British Animals (1831-1841)

Background imagePasserine Collection: European starling flock

European starling flock (Sturnus vulgaris). These birds gather together in large flocks at dusk to roost. Photographed in Sedgemoor, Somerset, England, UK, in December

Background imagePasserine Collection: Bombycilla cedrorum, cedar waxwing

Bombycilla cedrorum, cedar waxwing
Plate 43 from John James Audubons Birds of America, original double elephant folio (1827-30), hand-coloured aquatint. Engraved, printed and coloured by R. Havell (& Son), London

Background imagePasserine Collection: Persische Nachtigallen (Persian Nightingales), 1917. Creator: Paul Klee

Persische Nachtigallen (Persian Nightingales), 1917. Creator: Paul Klee
Persische Nachtigallen (Persian Nightingales), 1917

Background imagePasserine Collection: Four Cedar waxwings (Bombycilla cedrorum) feeding on Crabapple (Malus sp) fruit, Ithaca

Four Cedar waxwings (Bombycilla cedrorum) feeding on Crabapple (Malus sp) fruit, Ithaca, New York, USA, February

Background imagePasserine Collection: Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) in flight. Portugal, Europe

Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) in flight. Portugal, Europe

Background imagePasserine Collection: Yellow-headed Picathartes / White necked rockfowl (Picathartes gymnocephalus) Kambui Hills

Yellow-headed Picathartes / White necked rockfowl (Picathartes gymnocephalus) Kambui Hills, Sierra Leone, Vulnerable species. Photograph taken on location for BBC Africa series, September 2010

Background imagePasserine Collection: Chestnut crowned antpitta (Grallaria ruficapillas), Mindo, Pichincha, Ecuador

Chestnut crowned antpitta (Grallaria ruficapillas), Mindo, Pichincha, Ecuador

Background imagePasserine Collection: House Martin (Delichon urbica) Spain, April

House Martin (Delichon urbica) Spain, April

Background imagePasserine Collection: Murmuration of Common starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) with Peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus)

Murmuration of Common starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) with Peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) hunting them, The Netherlands, November

Background imagePasserine Collection: Robin (Erithacus rubecula) at RSPB Leighton Moss Bird Reserve, Silverdale, Lancashire, England, UK

Robin (Erithacus rubecula) at RSPB Leighton Moss Bird Reserve, Silverdale, Lancashire, England, UK. February 2016

Background imagePasserine Collection: Yellow Wattlebird (Anthochaera paradoxa) Tasmania, Australia, endemic to Tasmania

Yellow Wattlebird (Anthochaera paradoxa) Tasmania, Australia, endemic to Tasmania

Background imagePasserine Collection: RF- Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis) reflected in pool, Worcestershire. November

RF- Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis) reflected in pool, Worcestershire. November

Background imagePasserine Collection: Long-tailed Tit -Aegithalos caudatus-, Tyrol, Austria

Long-tailed Tit -Aegithalos caudatus-, Tyrol, Austria

Background imagePasserine Collection: Hermit thrush (Catharus guttatus) feeding on blue juniper berry (cone)

Hermit thrush (Catharus guttatus) feeding on blue juniper berry (cone) of Eastern Red-Cedar (Juniperus virginiana) in mid-November, Freeville, New York, USA

Background imagePasserine Collection: Vogelkop superb bird-of-paradise (Lophorina niedda) male, performing courtship display on his

Vogelkop superb bird-of-paradise (Lophorina niedda) male, performing courtship display on his display log, flashing false blue eye spots, a bright yellow gape, and blue breast shield

Background imagePasserine Collection: Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes) perched amongst autumn foliage. Uto, Finland. October

Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes) perched amongst autumn foliage. Uto, Finland. October

Background imagePasserine Collection: Great tit (Parus major) perched on branch, ready to fly, Moselle, France, February

Great tit (Parus major) perched on branch, ready to fly, Moselle, France, February

Background imagePasserine Collection: Andean cock-of-the-rock (Rupicola peruvianus), male displaying at lek in tree. Manu

Andean cock-of-the-rock (Rupicola peruvianus), male displaying at lek in tree. Manu Biosphere Reserve, Amazonia, Peru

Background imagePasserine Collection: Bearded tit (Panurus biarmicus) male portrait feeding, Helsinki, Finland, January

Bearded tit (Panurus biarmicus) male portrait feeding, Helsinki, Finland, January

Background imagePasserine Collection: Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris) in Rowan tree with berries in winter, Jyvaskyla, Central Finland

Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris) in Rowan tree with berries in winter, Jyvaskyla, Central Finland, January

Background imagePasserine Collection: Birds - Shore lark - Eremophila alpestris

Birds - Shore lark - Eremophila alpestris
Vintage colour engraving of a Shore lark, (or Horned lark), Eremophila alpestris, a species of bird in the genus Eremophila. Morriss British Birds, 1853

Background imagePasserine Collection: Two Rooks (Corvus frugilegus) silhouetted as they perch on a tree branch at their

Two Rooks (Corvus frugilegus) silhouetted as they perch on a tree branch at their roost site at sunset, Gloucestershire, UK, February

Background imagePasserine Collection: Apollo offering a libation to the raven, kylix, 5th century BC

Apollo offering a libation to the raven, kylix, 5th century BC
Attic White Ground kylix of the early 5th century BC. Showing Apollo sitting on a stool performing a libation whilst holding a lyre. A raven looks

Background imagePasserine Collection: Blackbird -Turdus merula-, female perched on nest with nestlings, Untergroningen, Abtsgmuend

Blackbird -Turdus merula-, female perched on nest with nestlings, Untergroningen, Abtsgmuend, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany

Background imagePasserine Collection: Erithacus rubecula, European robin

Erithacus rubecula, European robin
An European robin (Erithacus rubecula) in flight, U.K. Photographed by Frank Greenaway

Background imagePasserine Collection: Turdus philomelos, song thrush

Turdus philomelos, song thrush
Plate 19 from Henry Eeles Dressers A History of the Birds of Europe.. (1871-96)

Background imagePasserine Collection: Spotted Towhee, Arizona, USA

Spotted Towhee, Arizona, USA
Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus) perched on a stump in the foothills of the Chiricahua Mountains near Portal; Arizona, United States of America

Background imagePasserine Collection: Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis) feeding on teasel in falling snow, Leicestershire, UK

Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis) feeding on teasel in falling snow, Leicestershire, UK, February

Background imagePasserine Collection: Eyrean Grasswren (Amytornis goyderi) in typical hopping motion, Andado Station

Eyrean Grasswren (Amytornis goyderi) in typical hopping motion, Andado Station, Northern Territory, Australia, November



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Passerine birds, also known as perching birds, encompass a diverse range of species that captivate us with their beauty and behavior. From the mesmerizing Starling murmuration to the charming Tui in both its young and adult forms, passerines never fail to amaze. In New Zealand, the Melanistic variant of the enchanting New Zealand Fantail catches our attention with its striking appearance on the left side. Meanwhile, in Norway, we witness an intense mid-air battle between two Jays while another keenly observes. The Common starling murmuration is a sight to behold as hundreds of thousands of these elegant creatures gracefully move together across the sky. However, even they are not exempt from danger as they are pursued by a majestic Peregrine falcon. Traveling to Finland in May brings us face-to-face with a male Whinchat perched proudly on a branch. Its vibrant colors add life to its surroundings. In Suffolk, England during February, an adult Blue Tit finds solace atop larch cones - a true symbol of resilience against harsh winters. Not limited by borders or continents, European starlings gather together forming magnificent flocks wherever they go. And let's not forget about the Old male Asian Paradise Flycatcher whose delicate watercolor depiction showcases nature's artistic prowess. Finally, crossing over to Marion County in Illinois introduces us to an Eastern Bluebird perched confidently on a Bluebird Crossing sign - reminding us that harmony can exist between man-made structures and wildlife. Passerines truly embody nature's splendor through their stunning plumage and captivating behaviors. These glimpses into their lives remind us of how fortunate we are to share this world with such remarkable creatures.