Sunday March 29th: Isolation Day 6
Almost a week into our new life of uncertainty and restriction and the boredom and monotony is beginning to set in. Fortunately the sun is still shining enabling me to get out briefly each day for my daily dose of nature therapy.
Whilst being limited to just one small area can be a challenge, it is surprising just how much variety it can provide. I will try and demonstrate this variety with a series of ‘isolation’ blog posts over the coming weeks.
Today I encountered a very familiar species, the beautiful and charismatic jackdaw, one of my favourite birds to observe and photograph. The jackdaws on my local patch are by now well used to my regular visits making them easy to get close to.
The flock appears to have recently acquired a new individual which I have not seen before. Whilst most jackdaws look virtually identical to us, this one is recognisable by it’s unusual plumage.
Can you see the white patches near the face and across the body? These white feathers have no pigment and are caused by a condition called partial leucism, rather like vitiligo seen in humans.
More white feathers can be seen beneath the wing and along the tail.
Leucism appears to be a fairly common condition among our british birds and the jackdaw is among the more frequently afflicted species, certainly this is not the first I have seen with the condition.
A closer look at the white patches on the belly and legs.
Here is another jackdaw seen in the same area a couple of years ago. As leucism is believed to be hereditary, perhaps today’s individual could even be one of it’s descendants?
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All photographs copyright of Claire Stott/Grey Feather Photography © 2020
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