Rare Eurasian tree sparrow photographed at the Las Piñas-Parañaque Wetland Park

A rare “maya” bird that was partly pale-colored was photographed at the Las Piñas-Parañaque Wetland Park on Oct. 10, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-National Capital Region (DENR-NCR) has reported.


The Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus), popularly known as “maya,” is typically brown in color but the bird seen at the LPPWP had predominantly white plumage or feathers, the DENR-NCR said in a social media post.

It noted, however, that the bird’s eyes, beak, and other bare parts were normal.

The bird’s condition is called “leucism.” 

The avianreport.com explained it as a “genetic mutation that results in a total or partial reduction of color in a bird’s plumage,” hence its white color.

“Leucism in birds,” it added is “overall rare but relatively more common than albinism.”

According to Birdwatch.ph, the Eurasian tree sparrow is commonly found “associating” with humans, from cities to rice fields.

It added that “maya” is the only wild bird the average Filipino city dweller has seen and is familiar with.