Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Leucistic Robin - Turkey Point

Just thought I'd throw these photos up on my blog since it's a pretty cool looking bird. This partially leucistic American Robin was photographed yesterday by Gregor Beck behind South Coast Gardens along Front Rd at Turkey Point.

What's also interesting about this bird, is that it flew off high to the east towards Port Dover, where last year a similar looking Robin spent the summer. Is this him or her? Or maybe the offspring of last year's bird from Port Dover? We'll probably never know. Leucism occurs in many different species of birds/animals and it can really catch you by surprise when a bird like this shows up.

Leucism in birds is a condition where all types of pigments in the birds feathers are reduced, and is characterised by birds having patches of white feathers. Some birds are completely white, but the eyes and leg colour will remain normal. It differs from albinism in that albinos are affected by a reduction in melanin. Albinism affects the feathers, as well as the eyes, skin, and beak. Think of those white lab rats with the scary red eyes - that's albinism. If that rat had normal coloured eyes, it's a leucistic rat as opposed to an albino.

1 comment:

  1. We had a similar one at Rondeau last fall. Sure catches your eye at first!