11 Jun 2012

Unusually Coloured House Sparrow – Alba Marsh (Bahrain)

Whilst ringing in Bahrain last weekend we caught quite a few House Sparrows. We normally let most of the birds go and do not normally ring too many of this species as they are very common and movements are limited. Whilst Nicole and I were doing the net rounds and releasing a number of House Sparrows that had been trapped in the four panel mist net, Nicole showed me a dark plumaged bird she had just taken out of the net. I suggested we put it in a bag and take it back to the ringing station to have a better look at it. It was an unusually dark example and looked like it had been dust bathing in soot or something similar, although if it had been, it had managed to evenly cover itself on all its feathers, showing how good they are at getting dust to all parts of the feathers.

  House Sparrow (male)
 House Sparrow (male)
House Sparrow (male)

Apart from the dark colouration of the bird, which was a male, all other aspects were normal for a House sparrow including weight. Below is a normally plumaged House Sparrow, caught at the same site last month, to compare the photographs above with.

House Sparrow (male)

House Sparrow (male)

1 comment:

  1. Partial melanism? Your photos do not show much of a 'bib' what subsp do you assign them to?

    Laurie -

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