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In 1853, the future founders of the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens set free several pairs of the previously unknown European House Sparrow inside Brooklyn's Green-wood Cemetery. The House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) is "a member of the Old World sparrow family Passeridae . has also followed humans all over the world and has been intentionally or accidentally introduced to most of the Americas, sub-Saharan Africa, New Zealand and Australia as well as urban areas in other parts of the world. It is now the most widely distributed wild bird on the planet."

Anyway, back to Green-wood Cemetery: By picking hayseeds out of horse droppings from the carts used for funerals, these tiny birds flourished and—as alluded to above—are today one of the continent's most ubiquitous creatures. In other words: When all they feed us is horseshit, it's up to the eco-aware crowd to pick out the hayseeds that enable us to not only survive, but to thrive.

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