Curious Junco

30 03 2011

Partially leucistic Dark-Eyed Junco

I spotted this Dark-Eyed Junco at my feeders earlier in the winter and immediately took notice.  I’m sure you can see why.  This particular bird suffers from leucism – a condition characterized by a reduction in all types of skin pigments.  Sometimes this results in an animal that appears almost all white (which does not necessarily make them an albino – that refers to the absence of only melanin), and sometimes it creates an appearance like the one above.  Part of the animal seems fine, and parts are completely absent of pigment.

If you keep your eyes open, you might be able to pick out a leucistic critter in your neck of the woods.  I recently observed a leucistic White-Tailed Deer in Florham Park, and a leucistic Red-Tailed Hawk has been seen in the Piscataway area for years.

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