Wispiness of White ~ Ghostly Robin

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I was very excited to see this white (partially albino) robin in the crabapple orchard here at Flower Hill Farm about a month ago. I did see it a few more times over a couple of weeks but have not seen it since.

It was a lucky sighting, as only one robin in 30,000 is albino or partial albino. It seems robins are the one bird where the phenomenon of albinism is seem most. Pigments protect and strengthen, therefore a white or partially white bird is more vulnerable to predators and other mishaps.

A in a flock of fifty surely stands out more and makes an easier target. I hope this unique bird has survived and that I get lucky again!

You can see more photos and read more here . . .

flowerhillfarm.blogspot.com

Carol Duke

Carol Duke

Carol Duke is an artist and farmer who has worked with the land on a Western Massachusetts hillside for over thirty years. During this time her land has evolved into a diverse wildlife habitat. Carol features the flora and fauna that live and visit her farm on her website and blog http://caroldukeflowers.com As vital wildlife habitats are destroyed daily, Carol hopes to inspire others to garden for wildlife, while becoming activists for wild places the world over. Her nature photography has appeared in magazines, books and newspapers.

Carol Duke

Carol Duke

Carol Duke is an artist and farmer who has worked with the land on a Western Massachusetts hillside for over thirty years. During this time her land has evolved into a diverse wildlife habitat. Carol features the flora and fauna that live and visit her farm on her website and blog http://caroldukeflowers.com As vital wildlife habitats are destroyed daily, Carol hopes to inspire others to garden for wildlife, while becoming activists for wild places the world over. Her nature photography has appeared in magazines, books and newspapers.

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Kathy Sherman

I too have seen an albino robin orange belly white top in the field across from Tanglewood in Lenox Ma. What a great sight. I did not have anthing to take a picture how sad.

Tommy H. Hyndman

Great sighting! and photos!

Carol Duke

Thanks Tommy! I did feel quite lucky that day.

Ken Billington

Carol, I received the following email from Clive Mann – “The partially white Robin is leucistic. Albinism is “all or nothing” – something cannot be partially albino any more than it can be partially pregnant. Clive Mann”.

Carol Duke

Ken, Thank you for sharing Clive’s email. I am not an expert but did trust Journey North’s information . . . you can see the link – http://www.learner.org/jnorth/tm/robin/AlbinoPartial.html “Some birds produce low-levels of pigment throughout their bodies. These usually appear very washed out and pale, but are not white. We call this leucism or dilution. Some birds are genetically capable of producing normal pigments, but for some reason have all-white feathers in parts of their bodies. The rest of their plumage is normal. These are called partial albinos.” I also checked Wikipedia (I hope it too can be trusted) –… Read more »