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, March 14, 2014

Photo Share: Mottled Robin

We've recently (as of the last week in February) had a large number of robins coming to our outdoor heated water supply. We're in Chaska, Minnesota where we've had an unusually long cold spell this winter. One of the robins caught my attention, as it has an unusual (to me at least) coloring to its feathers. I was wondering if you could give me any information on this. Thanks, Paul
You might think it is an older fellow gone gray or a bird caught in an acid rain shower but he is actually a leucistic American Robin.

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 photo, 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 and weakness in the feather structure. Predators may find them easier and mates may not find them acceptable at all.

You can read more at: http://www.birds.cornell.edu/pfw/AboutBirdsandFeeding/Albinism_Leucism.htm
Thank you for the information, it's always nice to learn something new. Feel free to use my picture and location information as you wish. - Paul

Thank you for sharing your photo with us! If anyone would like to share a photograph of nature send it to bloubird@gmail.com and I'll put it on the Friday Photo posts.

Related Articles:
- What do American Robins eat in the winter? http://bit.ly/wQh59Q
- Fledgling Robins Find Their Way http://bit.ly/pqrhSL
- Fun Facts about the American Robin http://bit.ly/n9CSni
- Bird of the Week: American Robin http://bit.ly/pnUKqk
- Robin song in the urban jungle starts really early http://goo.gl/GMMMSY
- Why robins are called Robin Redbreast and not orange breast http://goo.gl/OB4iT

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