Sighting: Leucistic Blackbird

I came across this handsome male blackbird quite by accident in town a few days ago, I just happened to have my camera on me at the time. Unfortunately I was only able to capture one photo before other pedestrians sent him scattering.

IMG_2888-2.jpg

As you can see he has a patch of pure white feathers among the uniform black, not what you would usually expect from a blackbird.

These abnormal feathers are caused by an inherited condition called leucism, where some of the feathers lack melanin pigments, causing them to appear white. This individual bird is only mildly affected, whilst others may have significant areas of white feathers or may even be totally white which can cause them to be at increased risk of predation.

A survey carried out by the BTO-British Trust for Ornithology indicates that the blackbird is the most commonly affected of our garden birds, making up 40% of the recorded sightings. Also widely affected are house sparrows and several members of the crow family including the jackdaw and carrion crow, both of which I have also seen here.

Read more about leucism and other plumage abnormalities here:
http://www.bto.org/volunteer-surveys/gbw/about/background/projects/plumage/results/species_types


All photographs copyright of Claire Stott/Grey Feather Photography 2016 ©
http://www.greyfeatherphotography.com

If you like what you see, you can follow me on Facebook or Instagram (@greyfeatherphotography) to see my latest photographs. Hit the little ‘follow’ button on the bottom to subscribe to my blog. Thanks for reading! 🙂

One Comment Add yours

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.