More Leucistic Birds

Looking through my photo files I found a couple more examples of leucistic birds. Before scrolling all the way down (there are a total of 3 photos) try guessing what you think the bird in flight in the first photo (below) is?

This photo (above) was taken at a considerable distance so I apologize if it is not very clear. It is of two Eared Grebes, with the closer one being leucistic. It is almost entirely white with the exception of the back of the head and around the throat. You can see that it has the same shape and characteristic peak or long head plumes (crest), as the normal one it is swimming with. We actually saw four leucistic Eared Grebes! This is not uncommon, to the extent that some think it may even be a morph! The photo was taken in the Great Salt Lake, Utah, on the Antelope Island Island causeway in June 2008 while leading a field trip during the ABA Convention. Beginning in late June Eared Grebes congregate in the tens of thousands on the Salt Lake before continuing south on their migration.

This Red-winged blackbird (above) is the same bird as the top photo. The throat, neck and collar, cheek and a bit of the forehead give it its pied look. What is interesting is that the bird seems to have a peach colored wash in this area. There is also the white feathers in the tail that is visible on the bird in flight. This bird was seen at Pea Island NWR, North Carolina in May 2008.

all photos © adrian binns



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