Extremely rare albino bird rescued in Christchurch

The rare albino sparrow. Photo: Supplied
The rare albino sparrow. Photo: Supplied
An extremely rare albino sparrow is recuperating in Christchurch after it was rescued by two residents.

The bird is considered to be one in a million. Research confirms that less than five have been reported, photographed and confirmed worldwide this century.

Brandon Watson came across the bird after it was caught by his cat.

He reached out for help on Facebook and was approached by Lisa Armstrong.

She told the Herald she has just completed vet nurse studies.

"Helping animals has always been in my nature, so when I saw he needed help I didn't think twice to offer help."

Armstrong took the bird straight to an after-hours vet.

"It was in quite a bit of shock, so they told me to take it home and keep it warm and possibly release it the next day if it went well.

"I took it home, placed it in a cardboard box and put the box in the warm spare room where I stayed up with it all night."

Armstrong made a mock-up nest out of a warm clean towel and placed it in the box along with a wheat bag for warmth.

"Every two hours I reheated the bag just to a warm temperature and checked it I would say hourly throughout the night. It was a long night.

"I kept in contact with Brandon throughout it all as I felt two heads were better than one with the poor bird."

Armstrong then drove to the Animal and Bird Hospital in Christchurch this morning who agreed to care for the bird.

A spokeswoman for the hospital confirmed the bird is an Albino Sparrow and said it would be going home with them to live in their aviary.





Local trusted journalism matters - now more than ever

As the Covid-19 pandemic brings the world into uncharted waters, Star Media journalists and photographers continue to report local stories that matter everyday - yours.

For more than 152 years our journalists have provided Cantabrians with local news that can be trusted. It’s more important now than ever to keep Cantabrians connected.

As our advertising has fallen during the pandemic, support from you our reader is crucial.

You can help us continue to provide local news you can trust simply by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter