The buntings of Europe, Asia and Africa are related to American sparrows.
They are rather finch-like but have differently-structured bills, slightly flatter heads and longer bodies, and many have longer tails with white sides. Some are short-legged and heavy-bodied and strictly terrestrial, others are lighter and live more in trees and bushes. Most have simple, unmusical but distinctive songs.
Some are long-distance migrants and several European and Asian species have appeared in the UK as rare vagrants.