While on our wonderful boat ride along the Kazinga Channel that separates Lake Edward and Lake George in Uganda’s Queen Elizabeth National Park, we came across a leucistic Malachite Kingfisher. The bright orange bill and legs contrasting with all white plumage made this bird unique!
Leucism is genetic mutation that occurs when melanin and other pigments are absent in feathers which results in pale or all white birds. Albinism occurs when there is no production of melanin only, resulting in white birds having pink eyes.
For comparison this is a normal looking Malachite Kingfisher. These striking 5 inch kingfishers are widespread south of the Sahara in Africa. They are often found sitting quietly low over still waters or flying fast flashing blue and orange as they zip from reeds and favourite perches.