White Sparrow Watercolour and Pastel Painting by Ryn Shell.
Photo reference by Dawn Duty of View of a Pixie Photography
Description of Fine Art - White Sparrow by Ryn Shell.
A rare white sparrow painted in pastels in Australian wildflowers over a watercolour by Ryn Shell.
I was able to find out that this most likely is a male bird, as it has some of the typical black markings that the grey male sparrows have.
The original is painted in artist's soft pastels over watercolour on 600 gram Fabriano Cold Pressed 100% cotton rags content acid-free paper. Valentine the cat, studio assistant, assisted in the creation of the work with some subtle blending work while Ryn wasn't looking, and before the final pastel strokes.
Thank you to photographer Dawn Duty of View of a Pixie Photography for the use of her image of this white sparrow.
Ryn Shell's video work showing the creation of this painting is on YouTube FOLLOW MY YOUTUBE VLOG.
Portrait format, as per the original artwork, of Rare White Sparrow.
It seems that I'm not the only author who thinks that "White Sparrow" would be a great title for a story. I found these on Amazon.
White sparrows are seen through the world and have been written about as far north as Russia, where they are seen as a symbol of good luck., through to Sanctuary Lakes, in suburban western Melbourne, in South Eastern Australia.
A white sparrow is the rarest incarnation of one of perhaps the world's most common small bird.
The one that was found nearest my home, and was treasured and protected by those whose gardens it visited, was named "little white angel". It isn't a garden visitor to take for granted as it will have needed to have survived the risk of its parents or siblings tossing it out of the nest soon after it was hatched, or parents refusing to feed a bird that did not look like their own kind.
Albinism is a recessive gene causing a lack of melanin, so even the eyes lack pigment and are pink. A bird would need to have two parents who were both carriers of the gene to have a 50% chance of being an albino. That combination is rare.
Leucism is the loss of pigmentation in the feathers but not from the eyes and legs. From reading about world-wide sightings of these birds it appears that Leucism is more common that Albinism, but there are still few reported sightings of white sparrows world-wide.
This wide arrangement of the artwork works best for prints that require width, such as on this coffee mug.
Patrick-Jean Guay is the ornithologist at a Victorian University. He has said that sparrows with albinism had poor eyesight, pink eyes, legs, and beak and are pure white. Dr Guay said it was hard to gauge how rare an occurrence albinism and leucism is in sparrows. From what I've read elsewhere, they are aren't seen often, so most consider them rare.
The bird I have painted form the photo supplied by Dawn Duty has leucism traits because it has dark eyes.
Most birds that have the leucism trait also have weak feathers, which fall apart faster and make flying difficult. This white bird appears to be in excellent condition.
Partial leucism can also occur in birds and show as a single white feather or patch.
Sadly, all-white sparrows rarely live the usual five or six-year life expectation of the normal house sparrow. House sparrows tend to live in flocks of thirty to fifty birds. While white sparrows appear to be shy birds, traveling alone, finding it hard to find a mate who will accept its differences, yet frequently in the company of other sparrows who turn up for the opportunistic food residents put out to assist the white sparrow. Yes, it appears the white sparrow needs some assistance to survive as it is poorly camouflaged, which makes it a highly visible target to birds of prey.