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.