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TheBirdSpot

Albino Robin

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I had an albino robin in my yard today! It showed up several times and I was able to snap a few photos. My question is this... are these birds rare? I've never seen one before and was very excited to have one in my own yard! Seen today located near Boise, Idaho. 

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Cool find! I think the correct term is ''leucistic'' as opposed to albino. 🙂

*Albinism is a condition in which there is an absence of melanin. Melanin is what is present in the skin and is what gives skin, feathers, hair and eyes their color. ... Leucism is only a partial loss of pigmentation, which can make the animal have white or patchily colored skin, hair, or feathers.

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7 minutes ago, lonesome55dove said:

Cool find! I think the correct term is ''leucistic'' as opposed to albino. 🙂

*Albinism is a condition in which there is an absence of melanin. Melanin is what is present in the skin and is what gives skin, feathers, hair and eyes their color. ... Leucism is only a partial loss of pigmentation, which can make the animal have white or patchily colored skin, hair, or feathers.

Very interesting! Good to know. Thanks.

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16 minutes ago, TheBirdSpot said:

Very interesting! Good to know. Thanks.

You're welcome.

Someone please correct me if I'm wrong...naturally born critters with albinism have red eyes which it appears that this robin has dark brown eyes thus leucistic would be the better fit for its appearance. 🙂

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21 minutes ago, lonesome55dove said:

You're welcome.

Someone please correct me if I'm wrong...naturally born critters with albinism have red eyes which it appears that this robin has dark brown eyes thus leucistic would be the better fit for its appearance. 🙂

You're correct.  Notice the bird also has some red on the breast, something a true albino wouldn't have.

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Wow! Super cool. Leucism isnt necessarily rare but it isn't too common either. Mostly it's just one or two feathers as well. 

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I have only seen a few. And I have never seen one with that much white.

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As a child growing up in Toronto, Ontario every spring we would look for the "white" robin that appeared for many years on my Grandparents front lawn. So nice to see another one. Thank you for sharing :)

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That can also be a recessive sex link gene, found in many domestic birds, known as dilution. It was named that, as it dilutes all colors the bird possesses. 

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3 hours ago, Kerri said:

As a child growing up in Toronto, Ontario every spring we would look for the "white" robin that appeared for many years on my Grandparents front lawn. So nice to see another one. Thank you for sharing 🙂

That's awesome! I hope this one sticks around long enough to have the same effect. Thanks for sharing you story. 

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They are not very numerous, especially as adults, more numerous as young. I think they have lower fitness, get picked off more by predators and the white feathers wear more quickly, so its especially bad for birds like long distance migrants.

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In the early 2000s I saw a very leucistic Red Tailed hawk for around five years on my  farm. I only knew it was a red tail hawk for sure because of its mate. At that time I did some research on leucistic birds and read that, although still very rare, Robins and red tailed hawks exhibit leucism more often than other birds. I've seen thousands of robins in my 60+ years but have never seen a leucistic one in person.

Edited by von Humboldt
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On 2/16/2020 at 6:00 AM, von Humboldt said:

In the early 2000s I saw a very leucistic Red Tailed hawk for around five years on my  farm. I only knew it was a red tail hawk for sure because of its mate. At that time I did some research on leucistic birds and read that, although still very rare, Robins and red tailed hawks exhibit leucism more often than other birds. I've seen thousands of robins in my 60+ years but have never seen a leucistic one in person.

That's amazing! I'd love to see a white red-tailed hawk! Thanks for sharing. 

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Wanted to give an update on this white robin. It was hanging around for one day and we haven't seen it since! So happy I was home and able to snap a few photos before it took off for good.

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