May 18, 2010


White bird in an orange tree.

This albino House Sparrow has been in and around the yard since May 12. In the photos her eyes look black — after looking at her through binoculars I'd say those eyes are very dark red. I think she's quite beautiful.

She does stand out, though. I hope some predator doesn't finish her off before she's had a chance to enjoy a bit of the world, if House Sparrows can be said to do such a thing.

Rose Red on the left, Snow White on the right, with sparrow and finch kids in between. Click for big.


Plumage variations: Albinism or Leucism?

Leucistic birds, from Stokes Birding Blog

White albino swallow sets twitchers a-flutter

Albinism in birds


EmilyS said...

she's hanging out with house FINCHES.. maybe she's a house finch, not a house sparrow?

very very cool photo, and aren't you lucky to have her!

Luisa said...

I know she's a House Sparrow on account of my mad birding skillz. Oh, who am I kidding [weeps] -- she could be an escaped canary, for all I know.

Seriously, I figure she's a sparrow because she looks like a sparrow and usually hangs out with other sparrows. And her behavior is more House Sparrow-like than House Finchy. Audubon meeting tonight -- I'll consult the big guns. Er, top birders.

Larry said...

Hi Luisa, I love your blog!

It's hard to tell if that is a finch or sparrow but what would make you think it is a House Sparrow? Do you have House Sparrows around your place?

Either way, it is an unusual sighting and I hope you are getting several photos of the bird to study.

I found you from Bird Photography Weekly where you left your site in the comment section, but didn't post it in the "Mr. Linky" post (I would have emailed this to you but couldn't find your email contact info).

Luisa said...

Larry, thanks for the nice words. I love your blog!

Oy, do I have House Sparrows. I am no expert, but the white bird seems to look a wee bit more like a sparrow than a finch, and its feeding behavior seems more sparrow-like. Usually shows up with other sparrows. Also, I first saw her/him in a tree with what looked like a family of just-fledged House Sparrows. The commotion was what made me first notice her, though I can't say for sure whether she was one of the fledges.

I worry about this little bird a lot, especially since we have Cooper's Hawks in the neighborhood, and of course owls. Saw her yesterday, but haven't seen her today...

Am adding contact info to the "About me" section.