The Riddle of the Blue Sparrow…

A few months ago, I caught sight of a sparrow sitting on a feeder in my garden in Sydney. Nothing unusual in that, you might think. Those brown sparrows are everywhere. But this one was blue! I grabbed the nearest camera and fired away, although it was not easy to snap it…sparrows aren’t renowned for posing.

I made a few phone calls to the experts. The comments ranged from suggesting that I had seen a blue wren, the bird had fallen in a pot of blue paint, or that I had been busy in Photoshop! Others were totally mystified. I wrote a story for the Daily Mail, which ran it, along with a picture [link here] – and I received calls from ornithologists all around the world seeking more information. Had I seen the sparrow again? Could I find a feather and send it to them so it could be forensically examined? No, I hadn’t seen it again. No, I couldn’t find a feather.

I’ve since learned that a bird watcher on the New South Wales central coast has seen a flock of blue corellas (from the cockatoo family, but without the yellow crown). Suggestions for the phenomenon of my sparrow and the corellas range from the birds cross-breeding with a budgerigar to the birds having ingested food which has altered their pigment. Eating carrots could do this, it was suggested.

There has been a lot of chatter on the web about this bird! [link][link][link]

Blue Sparrow

The famous blue sparrow in my garden

So the controversy rages on. If I see the blue sparrow again, I’ll be ready with my camera.

21 thoughts on “The Riddle of the Blue Sparrow…

  1. Very interesting Richard. I’m still a bit perplexed, could this really be an undiscovered species? Looking forward to a final word from ornathologists!

  2. Thanks for your comment, Cameron. I’m hoping to speak to more experts and perhaps we’ll have an answer…

  3. I’ve seen a blue moon, but never a blue sparrow. Someone should tell Bill Oddy.

  4. I just saw 5 blue sparrows in my backyard this morning. I ran to get the camera but had flown away when I returned. I am hoping they come back. I live in Humble, TX, USA. They are absolutley beautiful.

  5. You’re one of the world’s luckiest people, Jennifer! Scientists have told me that blue house sparrows are extremely rare!

  6. I think I saw a blue sparrow last week in Rockville, MD outside of Washington DC. I didn’t know they existed. I managed to take a picture of it, which I just posted on my blog. Your sparrow is gorgeous! Mine has a lot more brown in it.

  7. Thanks for your info, Cyndy. Blue sparrows are obviously out there despite some skepticism in some quarters. My sparrow hasn’t come back – but I’m still ‘on watch’.

  8. I just saw a blue sparrow while going out for a short walk in Santa Barbara, California, earlier in the morning. At first I thought I my mind was playing tricks on me until I noticed several other brown sparrows along with it. So yes, blue sparrows do exist, but they’re about as common as a four-leaf clover.

  9. I have a blue sparrow that comes down for seed avery afternoon here in Casper Wyoming. It is the first I’ve ever seen and I feel very priviledged to witness it. I have no camera to take it’s picture but it has a solid blue head and blue down the middle of it’s back.

  10. A blue sparrow keeps landing on my window each day.. The most georgeous blue i have ever seen. I have not been able to catch a photo as yet, but i will continue to try !!

  11. I just took picture’s of a blue sparrow that I took while walking around our pond in Lincoln, Ca. USA . Pretty little bird but I was shocked at the color, kind of a dusty blue, but certainly blue

  12. sooooooooooooo cool! i saw a bird like that, then the next day i saw a painted bunting! this was recent. if you think painted buntings are extinct, their not! i see one EVERY DAY.:) im hungry…:)

  13. I was looking out at my future meadow (I’m planting a portion of my yard in wildflowers, as an invitation to birds, butterflies and bees…) and noticed, on the woodpile, a sparrow; not just ANY sparrow…same size, same markings, as a house sparrow…but in metallic blue. Irridescent blue. No, I do NOT drink alcohol, nor do I smoke dope or take drugs. WTH??? Too slow and old to have grabbed my camera, the tale lives on, after the TAIL flew away…

  14. Mom said see saw one in downtown Riverside, CA Oct 31, 2014. No pic but I will try to keep an eye out.

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