Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.
a family of birds of the order Passeriformes. The body is up to 16.7 cm. long. The adult plumage is greyish or reddish, and the young are speckled. There are 12 species, found throughout Europe and Asia, as far south as the Himalayas. In the USSR there are seven species, among them the alpine accentor (Laiscopus collaris), hedge sparrow (Prunella modularis}, and blackthroated accentor (P. atrogularis). They live in cliffs and in meadows in the alpine belt of mountains, and some species inhabit forests. In winter they migrate from the mountains to the valleys and from the northern to the southern parts of the areas they inhabit. They build nests in bushes, on the ground, or among rocks. They feed on the ground on insects, spiders, and small mollusks and in the autumn and winter on seeds.