Thursday, 19 July 2012

Twitchers in a flap as two rare white sparrows appear in Moray garden

A Moray woman who photographed a rare white fledgling sparrow in her garden last week was left ‘stunned’ when a second white bird turned up.
Thought to be a ‘one-in-a-million’ rarity, the white sparrows have a condition known as leucism that leaves their feathers either partly or completely white.

While such birds have been spotted before around the world, intensive internet searches have so far revealed no previous instances where more than a single bird has been seen at the same spot.
Linda Crowther captured images of two of the birds being fed by a parent at the weekend – and she is convinced that there is an older third sparrow visiting.
She said: “I have kept a close watch for the original white sparrow and was stunned when, not one but, two turned up. They are almost identical and were being fed by the same adult male.
“It is causing quite a stir around the neighbourhood and we’ve already had a few bird enthusiasts stopping by to ask about the original bird.
“I also spotted what appears to be a third white sparrow, that one looks slightly less plump than the fledglings and is helping itself to seed and nuts from my bird feeders.”
A spokeswoman for the RSPB said this morning that they could not confirm if there had been any previous sightings of two white sparrows.
She added: "Leucistic birds can be an unusual and exciting sight, so to see two at once is doubly thrilling.
"The fact that these birds have been spotted in the same place with the same condition suggests they are more than likely from the same brood. Sadly, the chances of these birds surviving through to next year's breeding season is unlikely as their unusual white plumage makes them highly vulnerable to predation."

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