The Riddle of the Blue Sparrow…

On 16/10/2009, in Animals, by admin

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.

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22 Responses to The Riddle of the Blue Sparrow…

  1. Cameron says:

    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. admin says:

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

  3. Roger of Avalon says:

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

  4. Jennifer says:

    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. admin says:

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

  6. Cyndy says:

    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. admin says:

    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. amazingo says:

    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 am very thankful to this topic because it really gives great information -‘,

  10. Cindy says:

    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.

  11. Linda says:

    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 !!

  12. Jo Anne says:

    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

  13. werewolf luver says:

    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…:)

  14. Steve Navarra says:

    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…

  15. Steve Navarra says:

    DUH! I Shoulda looked it up, first: It was a cerulean warbler.

  16. Edward says:

    I recently saw one in New York City.

  17. Edward says:

    I had a friend snap off a photo.

  18. Emily says:

    I saw about five of them this morning in Connecticut.

  19. Cliff says:

    Was there ever a definitive answer here? We found this guy injured in our yard today and he really looks like a sparrow to us, except blue.

  20. admin says:

    Definitely a blue sparrow Cliff. A perfect example!

  21. says:

    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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