Peterson Reference Guide to Sparrows of North America by Rick Wright
Sparrows are as complicated as they are common. This is an essential guide to identifying 76 kinds, along with a fascinating history of human interactions with them.
What exactly is a sparrow? All birders, and many non-birders, have essentially the same mental image of a pelican, a duck, or a flamingo, and a guide dedicated to waxwings or kingfishers would need nothing more than a sketch and a single sentence to satisfactorily identify its subject. Sparrows are harder to pin down. This book covers the birds of the family Passerellidae, which includes towhees, juncos, and dozens of other not necessarily small and not necessarily brown birds.
Birds have a human history, too, beginning with their significance to native cultures and continuing through their discovery by science, their taxonomic fortunes and misfortunes, and their prospects for survival in a world with ever less space for wild creatures. This book includes not just facts and measurements, but stories of the birds' entanglement with human history.