Blue sparrow seen in Australia

In April, GrrlScientist posted a picture of a blue house sparrow seen in April among normal colored birds. She commented on the nature of its mutation.

Passer domesticus, var. blue

Passer domesticus, var. blue

Birds and butterflies aren’t blue because of pigment but because of their surface texture of their feathers or scales, so I’m guessing that this is a structural change in the feathers.

It would be very interesting to get the local university to put up a mist net, band their catch, and perhaps pluck a feather or two. I’m curious about the genetics of family members — I wonder if some of the brown ones are heterozygous for blue feathers and how many ordinary sparrows it would take to find out. And will the chicks dig it?

GrrlScientist has a follow-up and more photos from the one who spotted this bird in Sydney, Australia, in April.

8 Responses to “Blue sparrow seen in Australia”

  1. monado Says:

    Thanks for the link! Most interesting.

  2. Brandine Says:

    I had never seen or heard of the blue sparrow before until a couple of weeks ago. We were sitting in our living room when a bird hit our window.I had my husband go out to make sure it was ok and move it if it wasn’t. He brought in a LIVE blue sparrow. I took some pictures of it and we placed it in the planter out front.
    After about 3 hours it flew away. I live in Saskatchewan Canada.

    • monado Says:

      This must be a second mutation, because I don’t think sparrows migrate that far.

      How lucky that the sparrow didn’t break its neck! Can you post a link to your pictures?

  3. Chris Says:

    You can see 2 photos of Brandine’s sparrow by following the link in the first comment.

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