I sincerely hope this is the first of many.
So down to business. Spuggy informed me that when he was obsessively checking through the site stats like the maniacal scientist that he is, that he came across this Google search that had led one hapless unfortunate to Sparrow & Dove.
“is sparrow and dove same thing?”
And I realised that not once, in all the time this blog has been a thing, have we answered that question.
Well, I refuse to let this travesty continue. Today, unknown searcher, I shall answer your question.
The short answer is no.
Let’s start with sparrows!
I can see how you might think they are the same, what with both sparrows (colloquially known as “spuggies” in my neck of the woods – and maybe yours, unnamed searcher!) and doves having two wings and beaks and being covered with feathers, but they are actually quite different! Just like dogs and all quadruped mammals that aren’t dogs.
If you are in the UK, intrepid searcher, then you will have probably seen house sparrows like the one above. You can tell the one on the left is male because he has the characteristic black bib, about which Enid Blyton wrote a charming short story containing pixies and paint. In fact, I think she wrote two conflicting short stories about how male house sparrows got their bibs. I remember being quite annoyed as a child about it.
So anyway, yes, those are house sparrows.
Other sparrows you may have encountered or heard of in the UK are tree sparrows and hedge sparrows.
But wait! A hedge sparrow is actually a dunnock, which is a kind of accentor. Er… don’t worry about accentors. They’re not sparrows or doves, and that’s all you need to know. Accentors are like Advanced Birdology.
Other interesting sparrow facts: They have an extra bone in their tongue (ICK) to help them hold seeds. Also, Wikipedia tells me that they like to engage in group singing. So if you’re looking for a choir and have a syrinx instead of a larynx, then check out your local flock of sparrows at their favourite dust bath!
So that about covers sparrows!
On to doves! Stop me if I’m going too fast, OK?
I’m about to blow your mind, dauntless searcher.
Doves and sparrows aren’t the same thing, right? We’ve got our head around that one. But check this out. Doves and pigeons?
THEY ARE TOTALLY THE SAME THING.
SEE? I TOLD YOU!
It’s true! Feral pigeons are just domesticated rock doves that got out into the wild and loved it. Pigeons and doves are basically interchangeable words.
Other pigeons/doves you may have encountered in the UK:
Notice that pigeons and doves are much bigger than sparrows. In fact, “sparrow” used to be a word that just meant “small bird”. Pigeons and doves aren’t really small, so there you have it. Incontrovertible proof.
Other pigeon facts:
I desperately want to keep pigeons one day. This is looking like a remote dream, as we’d need an actual house with a garden for a flying pen and a place to put a loft, but there you have it. Maybe it’s just in my blood, or osmosed into my blood from Newcastle, land of racing pigeons and Geordie Racer. I don’t know.
Also, pigeons feed their (incredibly ugly) chicks on pigeon milk, a secretion from the crop which they sick up like good parents, which, I’m sad to say, isn’t even the most disgusting thing I’ve learned from nature.
So, to recap, is sparrow & dove same thing?
No it is not same thing, brave searcher. No it is not.