About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Photo Share: Leucistic pied American Robin

I saw this Robin yesterday with unusual markings. Someone told me there was something wrong with it. I say it just lacked pigmentation in his feathers.  Do you know anything about this? ~ Linda
He's a leucistic American Robin. He looks like he's had an acid wash. If this was still April 1st I'd tell you it's the new, hot look all the young robins are sporting.

I posted a sighting that I had of one in October of 2010: http://lansingwbu.blogspot.com/2010/10/american-robin-with-white-feathers.html

Right now scientist describe two kinds of Leucistic birds, pale and pied. Pale leucistic birds will have the same markings, but are extremely pale. Pied Leucistic birds, like the one in your photos, have patches of white. Leucistic birds are relatively unusual but much more common than albino birds which are completely white with pink eyes, legs and bill.

The bird is perfectly healthy but they may have it harder due to their different coloring. Predators may find them easier and mates may not find them acceptable at all.

Thank you for the information.  Maybe someone else can learn from this. Thanks! ~ Linda

1 comment:

Kate/Massachusetts said...

Thank you for posting and writing about this! That is an incredible photo. Frankly, I really like the look...all the cool robins should be wearing it this season! vbg!