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Last year I had a "dark eyed junco" with Leucism . It stayed around last winter, yet it is gone this year . This year I have a "Tufted titmouse" with Albinism. It is totally white except its eyes. They are black not pinkish red. It has been here for about a month. I was wondering if there could be a correlation or if it is coincidence.SAM_0047.thumb.JPG.a63315a059e97ca767190d3c7c4b44ec.JPG1694651662_SAM_0201(2).thumb.JPG.2e2b8a5fc6fa18befc9c1a36ab851119.JPG 

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  • 1 month later...

The grayish feathers you see is shadowing. In person , it is pure white. It has the black eyes so I had wondered if it was leucistic or albino. I did a little more research and agree with the comments that it is leucistic. I am still curious if something in my environment could cause these birds to be leucistic or if it is genetic. 

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Albinism and leucism all have to do with genetic mutations or defects during development and both can be passed down. Though, they are usually selected against as generally they reduce the fitness of the animal. 

Sometimes new feathers can grow in white due to damage and things, but I think that’s more constricted to a couple feathers, not the whole bird.

Environmental factors would be more related to diet in brightly pigmented birds such as flamingos and house finches, where their pigments come from the food they eat. That’s why we sometimes see orange and yellow house finches (all though I’ve read that it can also be a genetic mutation). A flamingo that is not getting enough carotene from its food will appear far more white than pink. And some breeds of domestic birds, such as the red factor canary, need diet supplements in order to keep their colour. (Always wanted one) 

Albinism and leucism are still quite rare over all, so if it had to do with environmental factors, we’d be seeing a lot more birds and animals with the condition. 

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7 hours ago, Aaron said:

Sometimes new feathers can grow in white due to damage and things, but I think that’s more constricted to a couple feathers, not the whole bird.

I have a feeling that is what has happened to a lot of the crows and grackles we see with one or two white feathers.  Is it still called leucism or does it have another name?

I recently learned that this can happen in mammals with fur as well.  My primarily black dog's hair grew back white where she had been bitten by another dog.  Very interesting!

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5 minutes ago, The Bird Nuts said:

I have a feeling that is what has happened to a lot of the crows and grackles we see with one or two white feathers.  Is it still called leucism or does it have another name?

I recently learned that this can happen in mammals with fur as well.  My primarily black dog's hair grew back white where she had been bitten by another dog.  Very interesting!

Yeah, we had a cowbird with only a few neck feathers that were white. I wanted to get more info before calling it leucism. 

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