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Oversized sparrow?

Anna33Anna33 West SussexPosts: 296
Is it possible for a sparrow to be a little on the...large....size? I keep seeing a bird in my garden that is definitely a sparrow, but it's about one and a half times the size of his chums.

At first I thought it was a different bird completely, but having seen it several times now, it's the same colouring as a male sparrow, hangs out with the other sparrows, acts like a sparrow in terms of flight/beak movement/eating habits etc. So it's definitely a sparrow.

Is it possible that they can grow to be much larger than normal? Is it likely to just be a trick of the eye and they are known to puff themselves up to look far bigger than normal? I'm so curious!

I don't have any photos of this bird annoyingly, as it's never around when my camera is, but I'm going to keep trying, and to try and get one of his chums in the photo for context. 


  • B3B3 South East LondonPosts: 23,648
    How large is large? Is it a big as a starling?
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • Anna33Anna33 West SussexPosts: 296
    Not as big as a starling, and more rounded and fluffy than that. It's sparrow shaped, but 1.5 times the size of sparrow.
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,400
    Evolution?  A chance mutation in its "size" genes?  Humans come in many shapes and sizes and, in the better nourished nations, are getting taller and heavier so why shouldn't sparrows?

    I spend quit a bit of time and money making sure our garden birds are well nourished thru winter and spring so that they can a) survive the cold weather; b) make healthier eggs to lay and fertilise; c) have easy energy sources for parents who can then go and find all the juicy insects they need for their young.  That has led to an increased population here so why not a bigger specimen? 
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • punkdocpunkdoc Sheffield, Derbyshire border.Posts: 12,764
    I don't think evolution works quite like that. It is a very gradual process, over 1000's of years, so you are very unlikely to suddenly see a single giant.
    Having said that, I can't think what it is you are seeing.
    Klu Klux Klan serve hot soul food
    Whilst the band plays In the Mood
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,400
    I know @punkdoc but I bet there's the odd "throw out" on the way like the first man to be over 6' when everyone else was around 5'and now the 7 footers who pop up occasionally.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Anna33Anna33 West SussexPosts: 296

    Time for you to crouch in the shrubbery for hours on end to get a photo  ;)

    I think that's the only option!! :)
  • TenNTenN Posts: 122
    Might have fluffed up after a preen or maybe at this time of year he wants to impress a lady sparrow or see off a competitor. 
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 81,462
    I think that it’s a puffed up sparrow too ... either because he’s trying to impress ‘his bird’ 😉 or he’s poorly and trying to keep warm. 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,400
    TBH - I did hesitate to suggest it was just a puffed up sparrow when the OP described it as male.

    I'd get me coat but it's warm enough out there for just a jumper now.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Mark-EMark-E Pontypridd, WalesPosts: 179
    We had one similar in our garden a week or so ago. I thought it might have puffed up due to it being a cold day.
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