Sparrow oddity

Whilst watching the House Sparrows a few days ago, a particular individual caught my eye as looking a little out of the ordinary. A closer look revealed what was most certainly a male, but with a mottled brown cheeks and bib, quite different to the usual solid black markings.

The ‘odd’ sparrow with a regular house sparrow blurred in the foreground

A typical male house sparrow for comparison


A quick google search revealed nothing and so I sent the images to the BTO’s Unusual Plumage survey who believe it may be a hybrid between our native House Sparrow and a European species, although even they could not be sure!

IMG_9795-2 (3)



Other sources have suggested it may have a genetic cause, such as a reduction in melanin which is affecting the usually black feathers and making them appear reddish brown.



If anyone has any further insights I would love to hear from you! Please contact

All photographs copyright of Claire Stott/Grey Feather Photography 2017 ©

If you like what you see, you can follow me on Facebook or Instagram (@greyfeatherphotography) to see my latest photographs. Hit the little ‘follow’ button on the bottom to subscribe to my blog. Thanks for reading! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.