This week’s photo, taken April 21, 2017 at Richmond Beach Park in Shoreline, WA, features a male AMERICAN ROBIN with some plumage variation.
If a bird produces less melanin pigment than usual, the result can be a bird with a few feathers or perhaps many feathers that are white instead of the expected colors of that species. If all of a bird’s feathers are white, and the bird has red eyes, then that bird is albino. The robin in this photo is partial albino, or leucistic.
An albino or leucistic bird can face more than the usual challenges in life. It may be less able to blend in with its surroundings, and that increased visibility may make it more prone to predation. Since it looks “different,” it might also have more difficulty finding a mate.
I first noticed this “White-collared” Robin in the spring of 2016. Toward the end of that summer, it moved out of the park for many months, but now it has returned and appears to be busy with nesting duties. Lately, it’s been pulling worms out of the grass and then disappearing into the brush, apparently to feed its young. This robin seems to be doing just fine.
Bird cards, phone cases and prints: http://joe-sweeney.fineartamerica.com