rik-rat corn pile

Thursday, February 11, 2010

a strange little leucistic cardinal.

See that neat looking bird with the grey and white body in the middle of the photograph? This bird is a rare find. It's a cardinal with a pigment deficency called leucism. Being leucistic? That means this guy's pigment has failed to develop properly. Leucism has left him patchy and abnormally colored...unlike his red brother cardinals. Leucistic animals are not to be confused with albino animals. Albinos are missing all their pigment, even in their eyes. A leucistic animal can be all white, patchy, or piebald but still have pigmented eyes. Our leucistic cardinal visits every Sunday after I dump out a bag of wild bird seed on the lawn. I've done some reading up on pigment variation in animals and am very proud to say that I have officially seen and documented a rare creature. If you want to see a real crazy cardinal google "xanthrochroism, cardinal." Enjoy the photos.
sitting on a stick!