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Update: December 21, 2001: I saw the bird again recently, and got more photos (go to bottom of page to see them); there is no doubt that it is a sparrow (my original gut feel, but one I questioned when I got my first set of photos back). I have changed the arrangment of this page; see below:-

This albinistic/leucistic (which?) passerine was photographed in my back yard at Lake Worth (just west of Fort Worth), Tarrant County, Texas on December 12 and 13, 2001. It associated with a flock of Chipping Sparrows, feeding with them on native grass seedheads. Varying numbers of American Goldfinches visit the niger feeders in my yard, but this bird has not been seen with them nor on any feeder, staying in the brush or in the grasses. To confuse matters even more, during its time in my yard, I heard a strange song that I could not identify - the nearest to it are recordings of American Tree Sparrow (a rare species this far south, and one I've never heard sing), yet perhaps with the notes in a different sequence?; each time I heard this striking song and looked for its originator, I found this odd bird in the right direction, but I never actually saw it make the vocalization, so it may not be the singer of this distinctive yet unusual song. Certainly the song was not like any recording I have for Redpolls (and it was even less like Chipping Sparrow's normal song). Note that there are only five accepted records of Common Redpoll for Texas:

note the finch-like shape apparent to the tail-tip in the image below:

I've arranged the pics like this as I feel the above three images, if they were supported by a set of notes that highlighted the redpoll-like features (and ignored/missed the sparrow-like ones), might fool a Records committee into thinking this is some type of aberrant Redpoll.

The more pics studied (below), the more its true identity creeps out....

Note below the crop in the top-left corner - from the crowns of the mystery bird and the nearby Chipping Sparrow:

New images added December 21, 2001: