Passerines or more correctly birds of the order Passeriformes are the largest bird order comprising over 5000 species or 60% of all birds. These birds are commonly known as perching birds and sometimes, less correctly as songbirds. The distinguishing feature of the Passeriformes order is the arrangement of the toes which all extend from the leg at the same level and without webbing, but with three toes pointing forward and one backward. This enables them to easily grasp branches of all sizes and angles, even vertical branches with relative ease. They also have a mechanism which allows the toes to be relaxed when bent or clenched around a branch rather than being straight or flat which enables the bird to rest and even sleep while perched.

In addition to the main distinguishing feature of Passeriformes, they are also; usually small to medium in size, are relatively vocal which includes different calls and often elaborate songs, also their chicks need a lot of parental care once hatched.

The order Passeriformes includes birds like the sparrows, warblers, thrushes, finches, wrens, tits, honeyeaters, magpies, crows and larks.


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