Albino House Sparrow being fed by an adult bird

on 13th August 2008


In August 2008, Cherylyn Straubmuller wrote: “Recently, an albino chickadee has been coming to eat at our feeders in New Jersey, US. Although our camera isn’t the best, we have some great pictures of her, if you would like to see them. Her mate constantly takes care of her, feeding and grooming.”

Subsequently, Cherylyn added: “The albino can fly well, however, it will land on the feeders but not feed from them. It has landed on the ground and pecked seed. This is the third day that it has visited.”

We were delighted to hear from a birder in the United States and to publish her observation.

Normally, an albino bird would be an outcast in its flock. As it looks different from the others, it would be taken as an outsider, another species altogether. We suspect that the albino bird is a recently fledged chickadee and the parent is still feeding it.


NOTE: Nick Sly (see comment) has since pointed out that the bird is actually a House Sparrow. We have changed the title accordingly. We apologise for the error and thank Nick for pointing out the misidentification.

An earlier post shows an albino Javan Myna (Acridotheres javanicus) being accepted by others of its species.

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

Other posts by YC Wee

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