Hi im new to the RSPB and just wanted to say hello and ask a quick question.

I have a white sparrow born and raised by its ordinary (if you can call these lovely little guys ordinary) parents here in my garden in South Lanarkshire. Is it unusual and is it in more danger from our occasionally visiting sparrow hawk and if so is there any thing i can do to protect it.?

  • Hi Maria, welcome to the community from up in Caithness at the very top of Scotland. What you have is called a Leucistic sparrow, many birds can have this condition, it is because of the colour pigment not being correct. Some birds may some have parts white, wing or tail or splashes of white. You can have a complete white bird and if the eyes are red, that is called an albino, could yours be this? I would not call the sparrow ordinary, they are lovely to see and in many parts quite rare, I love to hear them chatter away in the bushes. As far as the Sparrowhawk visiting, I think anything will be in danger if it is in the way, your sparrow maybe will stand out more being white. If you place your feeders in amongst shrubbery or in front of bushes or tres, the birds like to fly back for cover if there is any disturbance and some like to take food back and eat on the branches. If we feed the birds and the Sparrowhawk finds out, he will know where to find his dinner, it is all part of nature. Have some fresh water out for the birds as well, not only to drink but to bath in as well. Any sort of shallow dish, bowl, basin will do, you will have fun watching them. Enjoy being here, any questions please just ask. Many members have left this site and now that the Osprey's have left to migrate (lots of different threads about these) folks will not post as much, but hopefully there will be someone at hand to help out, we are a friendly lot.

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

  • In reply to Catlady:

    Thank you for the warm welcome. I'm a fairly experienced feeder but this was mostly in inner city Manchester. Since moving to Biggar i have been astonished at the boi-diversity inthis part of the country although the variation in habitat is probably the reason. The sheer number of bird species has me thrilled and delighted although my pocket is less thrilled lol. My wee Sparrow is totally white and i have moved the ffeders nearer the hedges. But all advice is always welcome. Happy twitching.
  • Hi Maria and welcome to the forum from me in North Lanarkshire...Lucky you to get sparrows...they must all be hiding in South Lanarkshire...I only get the odd 1 or 2 visiting the garden...as Catlady says the bird do love their water for splashing about in aswell as drinking...oh it can be a very expensive hobby feeding them but also very rewarding to see such a variety of birds and wildlife come visit our gardens.

    (Pardon the Scottish Accent)

  • In reply to Linda257:

    Thanks for the welcome Linda. I have about 14 sparrows, a good mix of tree and house visit so regularly that i can now identify individuals by sight and behaviour. Unfortunately I had a recent visit from a sparrow hawk sitting on my fence and all my little friends just disappeared for almost 2 weeks. Only when i lowered and moved my feeding pole closer to the hedges did they cautiously return. I have no trees in my garden but i back on to farmland and they might have gone there. Don't ever apologise for having an accent. I have been living down south for 30 years and have only returned home last year and my accent is all over the place. I had no idea the plight of the sparrow was as serious as this as i still had quite a lot of them in Manchester.
  • In reply to Maria Stirk :

    Hi Maria, welcome to the forum I'm normally in N Yorkshire but this week we are in Northumberland. Plenty of House Sparrows around this little cottage but at home we get very few in the gardens surrounding our flats. They are always entertaining little birds and always welcome. Unfortunately all white birds can sometimes be predated more buy not always so fingers crossed for your little spuggie


    Birding is for everyone no matter how good or bad we are at it,enjoy it while you can

  • In reply to Seaman:

    Thanks for the welcome. I spotted him today in the hedge nearest to the feeding pole seems to have sense enough to avoid to much exposure. I stopped feeding for just over a week and the hawk has been a no show but niether were my flighty friends, obviously. I was scared they might not return but they are cautiously coming back. I know the hawk needs to eat as well but i selfishly would prefer it not to lunch on my little friends.

    Every feather counts. The name of a very selfless lady who rescuses injured birds in Manchester. I saved an injured crow we named Ichabod 2 years ago that she collect from us after 9 days of him hopping around my house like he lived there, he was not fit for release and still happily lives with her. When not in the aviary with his buddies he is in her office 'helping' her with typing, paper management and pencil dropping just cause he can. I get regular updates on his welfare and antics and donate to her medical supplies when i can.