Meaning of passerine in English:


Pronunciation /ˈpasərʌɪn/


  • Relating to or denoting birds of a large order distinguished by having feet that are adapted for perching, including all songbirds.

    ‘These animals include rodents, passerine birds and arthropods.’
    • ‘Cracraft shows an unresolved three-way split between oscines (which form the large majority of passerine birds), suboscines, and New Zealand wrens.’
    • ‘We compared chromatic contrast (color used for short-range detection) of each pair of spider and flower to detection thresholds computed in the visual systems of both Hymenopteran prey and passerine bird predator.’
    • ‘The pied flycatcher is a small Palearctic migrant passerine bird.’
    • ‘Methods.-The Pied Flycatcher is a small, migratory, philopatric, and hole-nesting passerine bird of European woodlands.’
    • ‘The diversity of speckling is most pronounced in passerine birds (the perching or songbirds that make up 60 percent of all bird species).’
    • ‘The bluethroat is a small passerine with moderate asynchronous hatching, typical of many passerine birds.’
    • ‘The pied flycatcher is a small, hole-nesting, insectivorous passerine bird which usually is monogamous, but in which some 5-10% of the males may be polygynous.’
    • ‘Ortolan buntings are small, migratory passerine birds, and in the breeding areas in Norway, pairs raise one clutch from May - July.’
    • ‘The pied flycatcher is a small, migratory, passerine bird that is sexually dimorphic in color during the breeding season.’
    • ‘House sparrows are approximately 30-g passerine birds that are gregarious during and outside the breeding season.’
    • ‘As is typical of passerine birds, nearly all mortality was the result of predation, and starvation was rare.’
    • ‘In a comparative study of passerine birds based on generalized least square models, we tested this hypothesis by exploring the interspecific relationship between overall brain size and repertoire size.’
    • ‘The magpie is monogamous, territorial, sedentary, and relatively long-lived for passerine birds, with a well-described biology.’
    • ‘Begging by nestling passerine birds has become a model for studies in animal communication, particularly those examining the honest signaling of need.’
    • ‘However, these model predictions cannot explain the observation that some small passerine birds ‘bound’ while hovering or during steep climbs.’
    • ‘The pied flycatcher is a small, migratory, singlebrooded passerine bird.’
    • ‘Falcons and cuckoos form a third segment of the gruimorphs; and, finally, the Piciformes and passerine birds are usually grouped together as a fourth segment.’
    • ‘Extrapair paternity is widespread within passerine birds and is indicative of sexual selection.’
    • ‘The visual system of most bird species, including all passerine birds tested to date, is sensitive to UV wavelengths.’


  • A passerine bird; a perching bird.

    ‘Divers, grebes, geese, ducks, raptors, auks and passerines are the most affected especially in very hard weather which results in the surface of lakes and reservoirs freezing.’
    • ‘Birds, particularly passerines, have served as the model system for testing many of the ideas on the evolution of begging.’
    • ‘We also saw the usual variety of gulls, raptors, woodpeckers, and passerines throughout the morning.’
    • ‘Eastern bluebirds are socially monogamous passerines that breed throughout eastern North America.’
    • ‘Prior to biotelemetry, the migration energetics of Swainson's thrushes and other small passerines could not be measured directly and had to be estimated.’
    • ‘In passerines, altricial nestlings possess brightly colored gapes and engage in vigorous behavioral displays directed toward a feeding parent.’
    • ‘Like a number of other passerines in both the Old and New Worlds, Catharus thrushes are nocturnal migrants.’
    • ‘Its diverse habitats attract many species of passerines, or songbirds.’
    • ‘Study population and field methods. Song Sparrows are territorial passerines found in a variety of brushy and moist habitats throughout most of North America.’
    • ‘Some Mesozoic enantiomithine birds had similar size and morphology to modern passerines, and it is tempting to speculate that they too had evolved some form of bounding flight.’
    • ‘However, small passerines carry very small food loads, and storm petrels very large ones.’
    • ‘Year-round territoriality with permanent pairbonds is a common breeding system of tropical passerines but is nearly absent in temperate passerines.’
    • ‘I eagerly described the season's bounty of warblers as a ‘procession of precious passerines.’’
    • ‘Barn swallows are small insectivorous passerines that feed on the wing.’
    • ‘Other authors have stated that incubation in cowbirds only differs from other passerines in the minimum reported.’
    • ‘Cliff swallows are highly colonial passerines that breed throughout most of western North America.’
    • ‘That general finding is consistent with previous nonexperimental work in birds as well as with experimental studies involving passerines and colonial seabirds.’
    • ‘Because many birds, especially passerines, are still wild-caught, it is even more imperative to develop reliable biomarkers for aging.’
    • ‘Densities of shorebirds and passerines were calculated as the mean number of birds per plot, which was then extrapolated to birds per square kilometre.’
    • ‘The warblers and orioles and other passerines recently left the cool forests of the upper Midwest and southern Canada.’

The order Passeriformes comprises more than half of all bird species, the remainder being known informally as the non-passerines. All passerines in Europe belong to the suborder Oscines (the oscine passerines), so that the term is effectively synonymous with ‘songbird’ there (see
). Those of the suborder Deutero-Oscines (the suboscine passerines) are found mainly in America


Late 18th century from Latin passer ‘sparrow’ + -ine.