White Birds - photos and discussion

General birdwatching discussion, help with bird identification, and all other things relating to wild birds and birding in NZ that don't fit in one of the other forums.
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Neil Fitzgerald
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Re: Leucistic Birds - photos and discussion

Postby Neil Fitzgerald » Sun Mar 24, 2013 3:51 pm

This cool looking weka was seen on Friday night on the roadside on the Karamea Bluff and the photos passed on via Jan.

1-2013-03-024.jpg
1-2013-03-024.jpg (360.47 KiB) Viewed 1685 times


2-2013-03-23 LW & Albino weka & birds 016-2.jpg
2-2013-03-23 LW & Albino weka & birds 016-2.jpg (130.58 KiB) Viewed 1685 times
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Re: Leucistic Birds - photos and discussion

Postby Neil Fitzgerald » Wed Jul 29, 2015 9:39 am

Paul Scofield pointed out (in another thread) this paper on colour aberrations in birds, and I think it is the easiest to understand discussion of the subject I have seen so far.

van Grouw H 2013. What Colour is that bird? The causes and recognition of common colour aberrations in birds. British Birds 106, pp 17–29
http://www.researchgate.net/publication ... s_in_birds

After reading this I think the tui (at least two) I have seen and photographed several times over the years, and which I had been calling leucistic are actually 'brown'.
Now that I look back at the previous page of this thread I also think the white kereru I photographed a couple of times has 'progressive greying', as it (assuming it is the same bird) has become whiter with time. I may also have this condition.
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Re: Leucistic Birds - photos and discussion

Postby Charlotte » Sat Aug 08, 2015 11:31 am

While driving in Lower Hutt this morning a bird flew in front of our car heading towards the river edge. It was a partial leucistic blackbird, very mottled in colour. Haven't seen one here before.
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Re: Leucistic Birds - photos and discussion

Postby Jan » Sat Aug 08, 2015 11:47 am

Nice Blackbird near Halswell School at present, seen him twice.
Has a nice broad white collar, could start a new subspecies?
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Re: Leucistic Birds - photos and discussion

Postby Michael » Sat Aug 08, 2015 12:36 pm

Jan wrote:Nice Blackbird near Halswell School at present, seen him twice.
Has a nice broad white collar, could start a new subspecies?

It'll take more than a few white feathers, but the fact that the white feathers could be part if a NZification. At the same time these pied blackbirds are found in all populations, England, Australia, Here and everywhere in between, so the odds are a real nice chunck of Blackbirds will have to be quite white, and breeding only with other white blackbirds. And even when the plumage changes, this doesn't mean they are different. It is ll quite ott if you ask me, but as I have always said, "A blackbird is black, and that is how I want them :D ."
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Re: Leucistic Birds - photos and discussion

Postby Neil Fitzgerald » Sat Aug 08, 2015 5:02 pm

Charlotte wrote:While driving in Lower Hutt this morning a bird flew in front of our car heading towards the river edge. It was a partial leucistic blackbird, very mottled in colour. Haven't seen one here before.


Or, more likely, progressive greying. From the paper noted above "Progressive greying is common in Blackbirds, House Spar-rows Passer domesticus and Jackdaws Corvus monedula . White feathers in these species are hardly ever due to leucism."
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Re: Leucistic Birds - photos and discussion

Postby Charlotte » Sun Aug 09, 2015 9:46 am

Thanks Neil had missed that post with the link, so will have a read.
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Re: Leucistic Birds - photos and discussion

Postby Michael Szabo » Sun Aug 09, 2015 5:13 pm

Just saw this photo of a leucistic sooty shearwater posted by Monterey Bay Whale Watch in the USA.

https://scontent-sjc2-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hp ... 9090_o.jpg
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Re: Leucistic Birds - photos and discussion

Postby Michael » Sun Aug 09, 2015 6:12 pm

Neil Fitzgerald wrote:
Charlotte wrote:While driving in Lower Hutt this morning a bird flew in front of our car heading towards the river edge. It was a partial leucistic blackbird, very mottled in colour. Haven't seen one here before.


Or, more likely, progressive greying. From the paper noted above "Progressive greying is common in Blackbirds, House Spar-rows Passer domesticus and Jackdaws Corvus monedula . White feathers in these species are hardly ever due to leucism."

Hang on a moment. If that's so, how do aviculturalists breed the white, or pied Blackbirds that make up a fair chunck of aviary birds considered as softbills in NZ? I would have though that to be more than progressive greying if they are specifically for these colours?
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Re: Leucistic Birds - photos and discussion

Postby Neil Fitzgerald » Sun Aug 09, 2015 6:33 pm

How many blackbirds are keep by aviculturalists in NZ?

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