Our first Leucistic Bird

Leucistic Mallard
Leucistic Mallard

If one follows bird sites on social media, you’ll occasionally nearly white birds.  Early on I was told these are not “albinos”, but leucistic birds.

The difference: An albino individual is unable to produce melanin pigments. This leads to a good diagnostic feature with which to distinguish leucistic and albino individuals – the colour of the eye. Albinos have pink eyes while the iris pigmentation of leucistic birds remains dark.

Anyway, today Ingrid and I braved the pouring rain and travelled to a corn field where a variety of species had been seen.  We were not disappointed as we saw nine different species of water fowl, including a rare Snow Goose and the even rarer Barnacle Goose (probably the same individual that has been hanging around mid-coast Maine since November).

There were hundreds of birds but my eyes kept going back to a white duck that I couldn’t identify.  When we got home and I “developed” my film, I was thrilled to see I had photographed a leucistic mallard . . . our first leucistic bird of any kind.

Leucistic Mallard

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