Sharing with you things that are on my mind...Maybe yours too. Come back to Wrights Lane for a visit anytime!

29 April, 2010

HI THERE WHITEY RED BREAST!

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Well, I learned something the other day...And so did Lindsey Taylor of Delhi who seriously questioned her eyesight at first.

Lindsey, it seems, was reading meters in Port Dover, April 20, on behalf of Norfolk Power when she spotted an odd bird in a nearby yard.  The bird had the orange breast of a robin but the rest of it was white. Unsure of what she was seeing, she snapped some photos. Jon McCracken, director of national programs for Bird Studies Canada in Port Rowan, examined one of them and concluded that the young woman had actually encountered "a partial albino robin" like the one photographed above.

"I saw this white bird hopping around on a lawn and I said 'What?'" she explained. "We have no white birds around here like that. It was pretty cool."  Lindsey snapped a cell phone photo and then went back for more pictures the next day with a better camera. The fact the bird was still there told her it had made a nest in the immediate vicinity.  Thoughtfully, she would not say exactly where she spotted the bird in the lakeside community because she does not want it disturbed.

Albinism and partial albinism is rare but, come to find out, it does occur in all animals. It arises from a biochemical defect that prevents an organism from producing pigments. Albinism usually works to the detriment of animals because it deprives them of their natural camouflage.

Some years ago Alfred O. Gross wrote an article titled The Incidence of Albinism in North American Birds for an edition of Bird Banding: A Journal of Ornithological Investigation.  To that time, 1,847 reports of albinism in 304 different bird species had been recorded.

I guess sea gulls don't qualify as albino birds because we have thousands of them in Saugeen Shores alone.

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