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RARman

Leucistic Yellow-headed Blackbird?

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Shot this at Bowdoin NWR in MT.  The images are greatly cropped.  This was a solitary bird.  Didn't offer any close photos.

thanks for the help.

8D6A7756a.jpg

8D6A7757a.jpg

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The pink beak and pink legs is puzzling, but I don't know what else it would be! Strange looking critter for sure!!

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Is it just me or does this bird look really off structurally for YH Blackbird? It’s shape looks really odd, chunky and short-tailed. That bill is troubling me also. If this bird didn’t have a yellow head and breast, YB Blackbird wouldn’t be the first thing that came to mind...

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No age or sex of YHBL should normally show yellowish coloring all the way down the belly, seeming to reach the undertail coverts.

Edited by akiley
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Wow!  Looks very close.  I think you have confirmed my suspicions.  Thanks, Gary ---*

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42 minutes ago, TooFly said:

Looks like someone’s lunch to me!!!! 

LOL! yah, how long until a Cooper's Hawk spots that.

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11 hours ago, Bird Brain said:

The pink beak and pink legs is puzzling, but I don't know what else it would be! Strange looking critter for sure!!

I guess the lack of pigment can occur on legs and beak too, not just in the feathers.

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Lack of pigment in legs and beak often does actually occur in birds with leucism. Probably a juvenile as these birds do not fare very well in nature, as TooFly and Creeker mentioned. 

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I'm wondering whether it's possible that normal Yellow-headed Blackbirds have yellow pigment over much of their bodies that's hidden by melanin, but this bird shows it because it doesn't have melanin there.  On the other hand, the bird in the photo IBH linked has white on the back where this bird has some yellowish.

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