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Kathylee

Progressive Greying, Leucism or Unknown Hybrid of a Crane?

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I am looking for assistance with identifying this bird. I took this photograph in April 2019 while driving around the area of Lake McConaughy in Nebraska. It was in a field with several Sandhill Cranes. I've searched through several websites and I am unable to determine specifically what this falls under. The legs are dark and the eyes appear dark in color. Thus far I've listed under Sandhill Crane, Antigone Canadensis, but nothing makes that stand out as a rarity, if it in fact is rare. 

Sandhill Crane.jpg

Sandhill Crane Displaying 1.jpg

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This looks like a leucistic crane to me. It has many white feathers and many normal gray feathers, typical of leucistic birds. Dilute birds usually have lighter leg/bill color and are paler overall. I would think that progressive graying cranes would have clear transitioning/a washed out look in the feathers, which I am not seeing in this bird. Whooping x Sandhill Crane hybrids would have different proportions, with larger bills and a less compact appearance.

Overall, with the "clear-cut" gray and white feathers and completely normal bill/leg color and proportions, this appears to be a leucitic Sandhill Crane. Nice find.

Edited by akandula
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13 hours ago, akandula said:

This looks like a leucistic crane to me. It has many white feathers and many normal gray feathers, typical of leucistic birds. Dilute birds usually have lighter leg/bill color and are paler overall. I would think that progressive graying cranes would have clear transitioning/a washed out look in the feathers, which I am not seeing in this bird. Whooping x Sandhill Crane hybrids would have different proportions, with larger bills and a less compact appearance.

Overall, with the "clear-cut" gray and white feathers and completely normal bill/leg color and proportions, this appears to be a leucitic Sandhill Crane. Nice find.

I agree.

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